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Off fob the South Seas, with Few Clothes 
BUT A Stout Heabt 3 


The Stobm — Tattebed and Tobn but Still on 
THE Ocean 13 


Beecham ^s Pills Abe Wobth a Guinea Though 
They Cost but Eighteen Pence . • . • 25 


Pebsonalities — Omens and Supebstitions of 
Old Chablib 33 

The Shabk — ''To Hell with Shabk and Ship" 44 


The Tin-Plate Fight — One-Eyed Riley Tbi- 



Ih WmcH THE Captain Wounds His Hand • . 61 

The Bo 'sun Lights — The Captain's Death . 66 

The BBoymoYna r— Swanson Takes the Count • 76 

BuBiAL AT Sea — In Which Biley Officiates . 83 


Astral Influences — The Crew's Version of 
THE Unknown •. .. 91 


The Cook's Watch — Materialism Versus As- 


Higher Inteluqence — A Visit from Out the 
Shadows ......... .. . . 107 


Christmas Dat — Our Unwilling Guest the 
Dolphin 117 




Crimp and Sailor — The Cook's Marxian Ef- 
fort 123 


The Montana Cowboy — A Horse-Marink Ad- 
venture 130 

The Fragrant Smell of the Allurinq Palms . 141 

Suva Harbor — The Reef and the Lighthouses 146 


Introducing Captain Kane, Mrs. Fagan and 
Mrs. Fagan's Bar 151 

Reminisoences of Old Clipper Days .... 158 


Unloading Cargo — Again the Master — Na- 
tive Police 163 


Shore Leave — The Web-Toed Sailor — The 
Missionary Ship 173 



Fiji Royalty — LocAii Color — /Visitors to the 
Ship 187 


A Drive with Captain KIanb — Razorback 
Rampant • . 194 

Homeward Bounp — The Stowaway .. . . 202 

The Mysterious Hindoo . 211 

The Htjbrioanb 220 

The Masteb Returns 228 

The Home Port . . . . > . .... 238 


Hardship is a stem master, from whom we 
part willingly. 

But it is often tme that real men learn 
thereby to handle their fellow-men, to love them, 
and to make the most of their own manhood. In 
no class is this more marked than among those 
who have been formed by the training of the 

Hundreds have lost their lives there, hundreds 
more have been coarsened through ignorance 
and because of rough living, but the survivors, 
who have used what God gave them of brain 
and muscle to the best advantage, are a lot of 
men to be trusted mightily. 

I am proud to have known such men, and to 
have lived the life that made them what they 
are, and, above all, proud to have sailed before 
the time when steam began to drive the square- 
rigger from the seas. 

Therefore I have ventured to set before the 


public a narrative of my own experience, some- 
what condensed, but little changed, even in some 
parts that may seem hard to believe, but sailors 
are known to be superstitious. Should this 
book fall into the hands of other sailors, I think 
it will interest them, and landsmen may care for 
the truthful record of a day that is almost gone. 

A. M. 



Off foe the South Seas, With Pew Clothes 

BUT A Stout Heart 

Her name was the " Wampa/^ graceful to look 
at, with her taU and stately masts, rigged with 
fore and aft sails. She was known as one of the 
fastest schooners sailing to the Southern Seas. 

That afternoon in December found her load- 
ing lumber in a rather quaint saw-mill town on 
the Puget Sound. Her Captain, who was a 
Swede, was tall and handsome and had none of 
the earmarks of the old salt. He seemed to be 
very nervous as he walked up and down the 
poop deck. Once he called out, " Olsen, put one 
more truck load on, then get your deck lashings 
ready. She is down now, she has eight inches 
of water on the after deck." With that he 
jumped ashore saying, " If I can find a mate we 
will sail this evening." 

As I stood there viewing her yacht-like lines 
and noticing the shark's fin on her bowsprit. 


I was satisfied that she was in a class by her- 

As he turned to go I said, " Captain, do yon 
need a mate? " 

" Are you a mate? If yon can get yonr tmnk 
and bag on board we will sail within an honr." 

" But I have neither bag nor trunk. If you 
want me you will have to take me as I stand." 

" Have you a sextant? " 

" No, but I can borrow one from the tug boat 
captain. He never leaves sight of land. I am 
sure he will rent it to me for this voyage." 

" Very well," said he. *^ Get your sextant, and 
we will find some way of getting rubber boots 
and oil skins," and off he strolled up to the 
Comptiny's office. 

Two hours later, with the deck lashings set 
up, tug boat alongside, everything ready for our 
voyage, our Captain sang out " Let go forward, 
starboard your helm. Murphy," — the tug boat 
gave a "toot, toot," and we were off for the 
open sea. 

By this time I had a chance to size up the 
crew. The second mate was a short, thick, 
heavy-set Dane, seemingly a good sailor. Our 

# • 



cook was a greasy, dirly-looking Gterman and, 
from what few wprds I had with him, showed 
that he was a Socialist. The sailors were 
Dagoes, Irish, Swedes and Russian Finns. 

With the wind freshening as we neared the 
open sea, the Captain sang out, " Mr. Mate, loose 
and set the foresail and main jib." With the 
gaskets off I gave the order to hoist away. I 
noticed one very large Swede hardly pulling a 
pound. I say "large"; he stood six feet or 
more and weighed upwards of two hundred. 
" What is your name? ". said I. 

He looked me over and said, " Why? " 

I said " You must pull some more or you will 
never know what your name was." 

I decided that now was the time to take care 
of this sea lawyer. The foresail was about half 
up. I gave the order to make fast. 

I said to this big Swede, " Come here, I have 
something to say to you." 

" If you want me come and get me." 

" Very good," and with that I caught him with 
a strangle hold and dragged him across the deck. 
Then I released him. " Now tell me what your 
name is." 


He looked amazed and humiliated^ and in a 
hoarse voice said, " Swanson.^^ 

I said, " Swanson, I want yon to work, and 
work your share.'^ 

He said, " You ban good steerman." 

Steerman is the Swedish for mate. 

"Well then, Swanson, let us get those sails 

Just then the Captain came forward saying, 
" What in Hell is the matter? Why don't you 
get those sails on her? " 

"Captain," I replied, pointing to Swanson, 
" this man did not quite understand me. Hoist 
away on your throat and peak halyards." 

Up went the foresail as if by magic, then the 
main jib and inner jib, the tug boat gave three 
long whistles, signalling "let go your hawser." 

I heard the Captain sing out, "Mr. Mate, 
up with your mainsail and spanker." 

"Aye, aye, sir." 

In a few minutes all sail was set. 

The Captain gave the course south one-half 
west and went down below. I imtnediately took 
my departure, and entered it in the log book. 
The wind was free, about two points abaft the 


beam. I put the taff-rail log over the side and 
settled down for our trip to the sunny south. 
As it was getting late in the evening, I went 
forward to talk to the second mate about pick- 
ing our watches. 

It is always customary for the mate to take 
the ship out, and the captain to bring her home. 
This meant that I would have eight hours watch 
the first night out. The mate has always the 
privilege of choosing the first man, and by doing 
this the big Swede fell to the second mata 
Because I was sure I would have trouble with 
him, I tossed him into the starboard watch. 
After the watches were set, and the wheel 
relieved, I heard the supper bell ring. 

As I was hungry I made for the cabin, and 
took a seat across from the Captain. Out of 
the pantry came the Socialist cook with two 
plates of soup. 

The Captain was not very talkative, thinking 
I was a low-grade mate, since I was minus trunk 
and bag. The cook eyed me rather curiously 
when I passed up the onion soup. I understood 
later that it was only on rare occajsions he ever 
gave way to cooking so delicate a dish. Should 


any one be so misguided as to refuse to eat it 
they might count the galley their enemy forever. 
With supper over I went on deck to relieve the 
second mate. He looked to me as if there would 
be no trouble between him and the cook and 
onion soup. As it was now my watch from 
eight to twelve, I had the side lights lit and my 
watch came on deck to relieve the wheel and 

I may mention here some of the sailors in my 
watch. Well, Broken-Nose Pete took his turn 
at the wheel, and One-Eyed Kiley took the look- 
out. Then there was Dago Joe and a Dane by 
the name of Nelson, who seemed rather quiet 
and unassuming. Also Charlie who was forever 
looking up at the clouds. 

The wind was freshening up and she was list- 
ing over with the lee rail in the water. I went 
aft to take a look at the log. She was doing 
ten knots and doing it easy. "Well,^' thought 
I, "if she can do ten with lower sails and top- 
sails, she will do twelve with the fisherman's 
staysails on.'^ So I gave the order to bend and 
hoist away and no sooner were they set and 
sheets flattened aft than she began to feel them. 


It seemed that those staysails were all that were 
holding her back to show me she was worthy of 
the shark's fin on the flying jib boom. The Cap- 
tain was walking up and down the poop deck 
smoking a cigar^ seemingly in good humor with 
his new mate. As I was going aft^ I noticed that 
she had broached to somewhat. She seemed to 
want to shake herself clear of all her canvas. I 
ran to the man at the wheel : " What in Hell is 
the matter with you? Cad't you steer? " I cried. 

*^ Yes, sir, I can steer very well, but since you 
put those staysails on her I can hardly hold her 
in the water." 

" Keep her on her course,'^ I warned him, " op 
you will hear from me." I went to the rail to 
look at the log. It was getting dark, and I had 
to strike a match to see. Sure enough, she was 
making twelve and a quarter. 

Just then the Captain came up and told me 
to take in the staysails, as she was laboring too 
much. I was going to protest, but, on second 
thoughts, I bowed to the ways of deep-water 
captains : " Obey orders, if you break owners." 

" Captain, you have a pretty smart little ship 


"Yes/' said he. "She passed everything on 
her last trip to Mayhew, New Caledonia, but one 
has got to know and understand her to get the 
best out of her/' 

Bight here I knew he was giving me a dig for 
daring to set the staysails without his orders. 

Tossing the butt of his cigar overboard, he 
started to go below saying " Call me if the wind 
freshens up or changes. But call me at eight, 
bells anyway." 

The night grew brighter. A half moon was 
trying to fight her way out from behind a cloud, 
ever-hopeful of throwing her silver rays on the 
good ship "Wampa." With the sound of the 
wash on the prow, and the easy balanced roll, 
with occasional spray from windward, I felt that 
after all the sea was the place for me. 

Just then the lookout shouted, " Light on the 
starboard bow, sir." 

I said, " All right," and reached for the binoc- 
ulars. A full rigged ship was approaching on 
the port tack. 

" Port your helm, let her come to." When we 
had her on the lee, I sang out, " Steady as she 


As we passed under her quarter, what a beau- 
tiful living thing she seemed in the shadows of 
the night,— and in my dreaming I was near for- 
getting to keep our ship on her course again. 
By this time hunger, that familiar genius of 
those who walk the decks, was upon me again. 
Nothing tastes better than the time-honored 
lunch late during the watches at night. I found 
for myself some cold meat, bread and butter, 
and coffee in the pantry. 

I called the second mate as it was nearing 
eight bells, twelve o'clock. I felt tired and 
sleepy and knew that nothing short of a hurri- 
cane would awake me from twelve to four. 

Up on deck Dago Joe struck eight bells, I took 
the distance run on the log, and was turning 
around to go down and call the Captain, when 
Bwanson came aft to relieve the wheel. He 
looked me over very critically and muttered 
something to himself. As I went down the com- 
panion way to report to the Old Man, I saw the 
Socialist cook standing in my room. 

"Here, Mr. Mate, is a blanket for you. I 
know you have no bedding." 

I thanked him and thought, " Well, the Social- 


ist cook is kind and obRervant and Socialism is 
not bad after all.'' 

I called the Captain^ then went to my room for 
a well-earned sleep. 


The Storm : Tattered and Torn But Still On 

THE Ocean 

Olsen, the second mate, called me at four 
o'clock. When I came on deck the sky was 
overcast, and looked like rain. Prom the log I 
found that she had m^de thirty-eight miles dur- 
ing the middle watch. 

" If she keeps this up for forty-eight hours," I 
thought, " we shall be abreast of San Francisco." 
She could not travel fast enough for me, going 
South, for with only one suit of clothes and a 
Socialist blanket, latitude 46° north in December 
was no place for me. 

The cook came aft with a mug of coffee that 
had the kick of an army mule. It is seldom the 
cook on a wind-jammer ever washes the coffee 
pot. Pity the sailor, forward or aft, who would 
criticize the cooking! One must always flatter 
the pea-soup, and the salt-horse, and particularly 
the bread-pudding, if one expects any considera- 



The Captain stuck his head out of the com- 
panion-way, and from his expression I knew that 
he was minus the mocha. " How is the wind ? '' 
said he. 

^^ It has hauled a little aft, sir, about north- 

" Get the staysails on and steer south,'^ and he 
dived below, looking for the cook, I suppose. 

I went forward to see if any sails needed 
sweating up. I called Broken-Nosed Pete and 
Biley to take a pull on the main boom topinlif t 

" Pete, what happened to your nose? " 

" It is a long yarn," said he, " and some night 
in the tropics I shall spin it." 

It was now breaking day. The cook was com- 
ing forward to the galley, singing " Shall we 
always work for wages? " Behind him strolled 
Toby, the big black cat, who seemed very much 
in command of the ship. Seven bells, and break- 
fast, some of the same beefsteak, with the elastic- 
ity of a sling-shot, and other trimmings. 

The Captain seemed more talkative. " I under- 
stand that we are bound for Suva, Fiji Islands," 
said I. 

^^ Yes, and I expect to make it in about fifty 


days, for with this breeze and a smooth sea, we 
shall be with the flying-fish before long." 

'* That will be very convenient for me, Sir." 
("No, no more coflfee, thank you. Steward.") 

(" Steward " is more appropriate than " Cook," 
and gives him a dignity befitting his position in 
the presence of oflSicers, while forward he is 
pleased to be called " Doctor." But that title is 
seldom used, as it depends upon the good-nature 
of the crew. ) 

" Warm sailing will indeed be convenient for 
you," said the Captain. " How did you lose your 
clothes? Shipwrecked? Here, Steward, take 
away this Bourbon brand," (handing him the 
condensed milk). "I see the flies have found 

" No, sir, not shipwrecked. My last trip, from 
Guaymas, was full of incidents, especially in the 
Gulf of California. It took us six days, with 
light, baffling winds and thunder-storms, to make 
Cape St. Lucas. While we were rounding the 
Cape, lightning struck the mizzen-top, destroy- 
ing the mutton-leg spanker and setting fire to the 
chafing gear. Luckily for us, the sails were 
damp. ^ As it was the lightning ran forward on 


the tryatic stay, and broke our forestay at the 
night-head." — 

" Steward," interrupted the Captain anxiously, 
"don't feed Toby too much. That old lime- 
juicer that was lying next to us at the loading 
dock was alive with rats, and I am afraid that 
we have our share. You say," turning to me, 
" that the forestay was carried away? " 

"Yes, sir, and that was not all. When she 
pitched aft, the spring-stays buckled, and 
snapped our topmast clean out of her. We let 
all the halyards go by the run. I have been 
going to sea for many years, but never have I 
seen a mess like the old * Eoanoke.' With the 
topmast hanging in the cross-trees, sails, booms 
and gaffs swinging all over the deck, she looked 
as if she had been through a hurricane. But 
after cutting away the topmast rigging, and let- 
ting the topmast go by the run (watching the 
roll, of course, so that they would be sure to 
clear the bulwark rail), we got a ten-inch haw- 
ser from the lazarette to replace the one that had 
been carried away. With the deck cleared, and 
lower sails set, she was able to lay her course 


again^ and after thirty-two days we crippled into 

" While lying in Bellingham^ our port of dis- 
charge, I was relating my experience to a few 
old salts^ men with whom I had sailed in other 
seas. There happened to be a land-lubber who 
questioned my story. He called me a liar. I 
said, *You beat it.' He reached for his hip 
pocket. Instantly I swung for his jaw. He 
went down and I walked away. Later I met the 
night policeman. *You had better get across 
the line till this blows over/ he said. *The 
doctor says that he has a broken jaw.' 

" In Vancouver shipping was light, so I took a 
job in a logging-camp running an old ship's 
donkey-engine hauling logs. Wells, the logging 
company went broke, and I with them, and that 
is my reason for not having any clothes." 

"What became of the man with the broken 
jaw?" asked the Captain. 

"I heard that he bought a gas motor cycle; 
they were new in the East then. He had one 
shipped to Bellingham, and ran it without a 
muffler. It made such a noise that horses ran 



away, and chickens flew about, and eventually 
the townspeople ran him out of town." 

It was now past eight bells, and from the angry 
sound of Olsen's feet on the deck above, I knew 
that he could take care of what steak was left. 

^' Well," said the Captain, " that reminds me 
of an experience I once had on the * Glory of the 
Seas,' off Kiver Plate. Not an electrical storm, 
but worse, a squall without warning. You have 
to relieve Olsen now, so I will finish some other 
time in your watch below." 

The cook was in the pantry, humming his fav- 
orite song, omitting the words. 

It was my watch below, but I remained long 
enough on deck for Olsen to finish his breakfast. 
Away towards the eastward the sky was blood 
red, and the northwest wind was dying out. If 
the old sailor's adage holds good, then "A red 
sky in the morning, sailors take warning." I 
had b^en familiar with those signs in the North- 
em Pacific for years. In the winter time it 
usually meant a gale. When Olsen returned, I 
laid out the work to be done during the fore- 
noon. "Get together your reef -earrings, have 
your halyards coiled down ready for running," I 


said. "We may have a blow before long." 

" Yaw," said the Dane, " I don't like the sky to 
the eastward." 

In the cabin, the Captain was sorting over 
some old letters. " Here," said he, " is a picture 
of my two boys. They are living in Berkeley. 
Their mother died two years ago while I was in 
South America. The doctor said it was T. B." 
With tears in his eyes he said, " I suppose it had 
to be, but don't you know, they are quite happy. 
They are living with their aunt. Oh, children 
forget so soon, so soon." Picking up the pic- 
tures, and with a look of hatred in his eyes he 
said, " The sea is no place for a married man." 

At seven bells I came on deck to take the meri- 
dian altitude of the sun. It was now partly 
cloudy, and hard to get a clear horizon, as the 
sun would dive in and out from behind the clouds. 
What Uttle wind there was came from the south- 

" I guess we shall have to rely on your dead 
reckoning," said the Captain, " the barometer is 
dropping, and it looks as if we are in for a 

At four o'clock in the afternoon it commenced 


to blow from the southeast. We took in stay- 
sails, topsails and flying-jib. She was close- 
hauled and headed southwest. In the first dog- 
watch the wind increased. 

" Call all hands," said the Captain, " we must 
reef her down." 

The spanker-boom projected over the stem 
about twenty feet. It was no easy matter reef- 
ing this sail, with the wind and sea increasing 
and her shipping an occasional sea. There was 
some danger of one's being washed overboard and 
very little chance of saving a life. But now was 
the time to find out if our sailors were from the 
old school. I loved the storms, and the wild rag- 
ing seas and angry skies, — no sea gull ever 
enjoyed the tempest more than I. 

" Here you, Johnson, Nelson and Swanson, lay 
out on the boom, haul out and pass your reef- 
earring, and be quick about it." 

Swanson said: "TU not go out there. The 
foot-rope is too short." 

" By God, you'll go out there if I have to haul 
you with a handy billy." 

"Yes, damn you, get out there," roared the 
Captain. "You call yourself a sailor; it is a 


beachcomber you are!^' The Captain worked 
himself into a rage. " By Heavens, we will make 
sailors of you before this trip is over." 

Swanson with a look of rage, decided that an 
alternative of the boom-end with an occasional 
dip into the raging sea underneath and elevation 
on high as she rolled, was much preferable to 
what he could expect should he refuse to obey 
orders. With the spanker and mainsail close- 
reefed we were pretty snug. 

" If the wind increases it will be necessary to 
heave her to; that will do; the watch below,^' 
said I. 

Old Charlie was coiling down ropes. "Mr. 
Mate, look out for Swanson, I just heard him say 
that this ship is too small for you and him. He 
is very disagreeable in the f oc^sle. He and One- 
Eyed Kiley came near having a scrap over the 
sour beans at noon to-day/* 

Three hours later the wind increased to a liv- 
ing gale. Before we could let go the halyards it 
blew our foresail away. 

"My God," cried the Captain, "and brand 
new. Just begged my owners for it. Six hun- 
dred dollars gone to Hell ! Get the mainsail and 


inner jib oflf liyely. Heave her to under the main 
jib." Speaking to. the man at the wheel : " Don't 
let her go off, damn you, let her come to, and put 
your wheel in ^midships." 

Throughout the night the wind kept up, with 
the seas battering our deckload, until there was 
danger of having it washed overboard. But 
about seven o'clock in the morning it abated some. 
The old ship had the expression of a wet water- 
spaniel coming out of the water before shaking 
himself. Defiant as she was to race away from 
storm and strife, she was hopelessly crippled by 
the mountainous sea that was trying to swallow 
her lip in its angry roll. 

" Never mind about anything," said the Cap- 
tain, " get the damned old spare foresail up any- 
way, we will have to patch it and get it onto 
her. Olsen, how do the stores and flour look? 
Yes, it is aft on the port side." 

" The rats have torn two sacks of flour open, 

" Great God, have they gotten in there already? 
Run and get Toby, and put him down there, I 
will attend to the lazarette hatch myself from 
now on." 


So saying, he walked to the rail and leyelled 
his glass at an approaching ship. 

Out of the murky horizon loomed up the TJ. 
S. transport " Dix/' with troops bound for 
Manila to aid in the capture of Aguinaldo. As 
she passed us to windward Old Charlie i-emarked, 
" There will be few aboard of her to eat break- 
fast this morning, the way she pitches and 

It was plain to be seen that the Captain was 
in no mood for comedy this particular morning. 
With the loss of his new foresail, and rats in the 
flour, and worst of all forgetting to wind the 
chronometer, a fatal result of his preoccupation 
with the storm, he was the picture of a man 
doomed to despair, and I, for one, approached 
him yery gingerly. 

With a look of disdain at Old Charlie, he said, 
" To Hell with breakfast ! All you beachcombers 
think of is eating. Haul the gaff to windward. 
Bend on the old foresail, or we shall be blown 
clear across to Japan." 

Towards noon the wind let up a little, enough 
to carry lower sails. Even with a heavy sea we 
were able to make five and one-half knots, but 


were off onr course four points^ aa the wind was 
still south southeast. 

" Mr. Mate, the Captain wants to see you." 

'' All right, Olsen.'' 

In the cabin the Captain was walking in a 
circle. " Damn it all," he cried, " why couldn't 
1/ou remind me to wind the chronometer? " 

" I did not know that you had one on board, 

" Hell and damnation ! Go to sea without a 
chronometer ? Who ever heard of such a thing ! " 
Swinging his arms wildly over his head, he said, 
" Where in blazes did you go to sea? " 

" Captain," said I, " I have made a twenty- 
thousand mile trip without a chronometer with 
old Captain Sigelhorst in the bark " Quickstep," 
not so long ago. We can surely get our position 
from a passing ship, and if not, we can make 
land, say off San Diego, and easily correct our 
position for Greenwich time." 

" Well, it is a damned poor business, anyway." 

Just then we were interrupted by Olsen, who 
reported to the Captain that Swanson was sick 
and refused to come on deck. 


Bbbgham^s Pills Are Worth a Guinea Though 
They Cost but Eighteen Pence 

In those days, twenty years ago, sailing schoon- 
ers had few men before the mast, and every man 
was called upon to do a man's work. If one of 
the crew were sick, it usually caused a great deal 
of trouble both fore and aft. In bad and stormy 
weather it was not uncommon for the old and 
seasoned sailor to play sick, provided he could 
get away with it- The usual symptom was lame 
back, so that the appetite might not be ques- 
tioned. When the ship would emerge into fine 
weather, marvel of marvels, the sailor would 
recover in a moment. 

" Sick, is he? '' said the Captain, and pointed 
to me, saying : " Go forward and see what the 
trouble is.'' 

" I am sure," I replied, " that he will be on 
deck before long, sir." 

" All I have in the medicine chest is pills, yes, 
damn it, pills," and he waved me forward. 



In the forecastle Swanson was lying in his 
bnnk with the blankets pulled up over his head, 
sound asleep, and beside him, lying on a bench, 
was all that remained of a breakfast piece of 
hardtack, and a large bone, with teethmarks in 
the gristle. 

" Well," thought I, " if he is getting as close 
to the bone as this, he can't be very sick." I 
awoke him, saying: "What is the matter with 
you, Swanson? Why aren't you on deck? This 
is not your watch below." 

He rolled over as if in great agony. 

" Mr. Mate, I ban very sick man." 

" Where are you sick?" 

" I ban sick on this side," pointing to the right 

" Stick out your tongue. Yes, indeed, you are 
a very sick man. Can't eat, I suppose." He 
answered me with a grunt as if in mortal pain. 

I went aft and asked the Captain for a few 
pills. " Give me five." 

" Hell, take ten. How is he?" 

" I will have him on deck in a few hours, sir." 

After Swanson had swallowed the last pill I 


said, "You are feeling much easier now, aren't 
you? Of course, this treatment will relieve you, 
but only temporarily. I am positive that you 
have a very bad case of appendicitis." 

This seemed to please the Swede very much. 
" But," said I, " it is very unfortunate that we 
are running into another stOrm, the pitching and 
rolling of the ship will be bad for you." 

He looked me fair in the eye, saying, " Why? " 

" Well, it may be either death or an operation 
for you very soon." 

" I tank de pain go down," pointing to his hip. 

" Yes, Swanson, that is the most pronounced 
symptom of all," I said, pathetically. " You lie 
still while I go aft and see what kind of cutlery 
the Captain has." 

" Captain," I asked, when I was once more on 
deck, "what kind of pills were those that you 
just gave me for Swanson? " 

" Beecham's pills, and five is a very large dose. 
I have had them by me for years. As a boy I was 
introduced to them by the North Sea fishermen," 
he proceeded solemnly. " You know they adver- 
tise them on the sails of luggers, smacks and 


sloops, in fact, wherever you look in the North 
Sea, Irish Sea or English Channel you can 
always see Beecham's Pills go sailing by." 

Towards evening the weather broke clear with 
the wind hauling towards the northeast and east- 
ward, and the prospects looked good for better 
weather. About nine o'clock the cook came run- 
ning aft, crying, "Mr. Mate, • Swanson is very 
sick, and the^^rew think that he is going to die.'^ 

" What is the matter with him now?'^ said I, 
very coolly. 

" He has terrible cramps. Bussian-Finn John 
and Broken-Nosed Pete have all they can do to 
hold him in the bunk." 

" You go to the galley, steward, and get a quart 
of warm water. You can give it to him while 
John and Pete hold him, and I have no doubt 
that in this case Eiley will be glad to help. Is 
that he groaning? " 

" Yes," said the Steward, trembling, " he is in 
terrible agony." 

" Have you given him anything to eat for sup- 

" My God, yes, he has gorged himself on corned 
beef and cabbage.'^ 


" Well/^ thought I, " he has reason to roll and 

" Get that hot water," I continued aloud, " and 
be quick about it. If anything happens to him 
after this you will be to blame. The idea of feed- 
ing corned beef and cabbage to a man with a 
high fever ! *' The cook waited to hear no more. 
All I could see was the dirty apron flying for the 

The Captain, hearing us talking from the 
cabin, shouted out, "What is all that noise up 
there? " 

"Nothing much, sir; she is now laying her 
course with the wind free." This was hoping to 
distract him with weather conditions from ask- 
ing whom I dared to talk with on the poop deck. 
Discipline must be adhered to on windjammers. 
Mates and second mates give their orders in 
whispers, ' but never loud enough to awaken His 
Majesty the Captain. The mates are held in 
high esteem by the crew when they see the Cap- 
tain conversing with them, but for one of the 
crew to come and carry on a conversation with 
an officer when he is aft in his sacred precinct, 
the poop deck, is considered a crime, and ranks 


almost next to mutiny. Evidently he thought 
that I was giving some orders to the crew, for 
he closed the porthole, and did not ask me the 

On my way forward to see how the steward 
was getting along with his mission, and while 
abreast the forerigging, Old Charlie tapped me 
on the shoulder and pointed toward the forecastle 
saying : " Mr. Mate, Swanson is a very sick man. 
He thinks that you have given him poison, sir, 
and " — stepping close to me, " I feel that some- 
thing is going to happen on this ship." 

" What makes you think that? " said I. 

Pulling his old hairy cap down around his 
ears, and settling down for a long yam, he said : 
" In the winter of 187'5 I was in a ship off the 
Cape of Good Hope. We lost three sailors over- 
board — " 

"I am in a hurry, Charlie, you will be too 
long — " 

" I have had queer dreams lately, sir," he inter- 

" Tell me some other time," said I, " I must 
see the Swede." 

Pown in the forecastle Riley was comforting 


SwaQson in the uncertain language of the sea^ 
while the cook held his head, eyeing me, and say- 
ing very softly, " I don't think that it is the cab- 
bage, sir/' 

" What is it then,'' said I, " I only gave two 
grains of quinine to reduce his fever. Stand 
back, there, so that I can get a look at him. How 
are you now, Swanson?" As I said this, the 
words of the advertisement occurred to me, 
"Beecham's Pills are worth a guinea, though 
they cost but eighteen pence." 

There was no bluffing with the Swede. He was 
sick in good earnest now. " I think I ban pois- 
oned, Mr. Mate." 

"No, Swanson, you have not been poisoned. 
You must be operated on, and at once." 

" Begob, sir," said Riley, with a wink at me, 
" and sure it is myself that knows how to carve. 
I will be after helping you, sir." 

"Thank you, Riley, it is a dirty job, and I 
should much prefer that you would do it." 

" Let me up," yelled the Swede. 

" Hold him down, men," said I. " You know 
that he is out of his head from fever, and it would 
be dangerous for him to get up until after the 


operation/' It now dawned upon Swanson that 
I was in earnest about the operation. For a one- 
eyed Irishman and his enemy to cut a hole in him 
was more than he could bear. With a wild 
plunge that hurled his captors to right and left, 
he jumped from his bunk, and raced for his life 
up the ladder that led to the deck. 

Seven bells in the morning, and with a fine 
saUing breeze, we were leaving behind the sleet 
and storms for those who sail the northern lati- 

" I saw Swanson on deck this morning," said 
the Captain. 

" Yes, sir, he is better. I don't think that we 
shall have any more trouble from him in that 

Ombns and Supeestitions of Old Charlib 

Four days later a tramp steamer hove in sight. 
We signaled him, and asked for his position. 
He signaled back, giving latitude and longitude. 
He wad about a mile to the eastward of us. We 
set and wound our chronometer, and considered 
this luck indeed, as the Captain expressed it. 
He seemed quite happy, and, with an expression 
bf confidence on his face, remarked: 

"Well, we are all right again. You know I 
was very much worried about forgetting to wind 
the chronometer. I have been master for four- 
teen years, and this is the first time that I have 
n^lected to do it. I have heard from old-timers 
that it is considered a bad omen.'' 

" I don't believe in any such superstitions," 
said I. 

Here he called to the cook, who was throwing 
slop overboard from the galley: "Have you 
given Toby any water today? " 



"Yessir," said the cook, and cursed a large 
black and white gull for eating more than his 
share of the scraps that were floating by. " Toby 
wants for nothing, sir. In fact, he has been 
getting out of the lazarette lately." 

The Captain did not hear this last remark. 
He was watching the remains from the galley to 
see if there was any waste. Old sailors say they 
can tell how ships feed by the number of gulls 
who follow in her wake. 

(Now follow some extracts from my diary, 
kept during a portion of this trip.) 

For the last week we have been having fine 
weather. The cook and crew seem to be very 
friendly. I notice that during the dog-watch 
from six to eight they gather around the main- 
mast. There the cook has a barrel in which he 
freshens salt meat. In this watch he puts it 
to soak. This evening he must have been carried 
away with his subject, for he was talking loudly 
and very excitedly, exclaiming: 

" That is it exactly, and here we are. What 
are we getting? Nothing. And to think that 
we are the slaves of the owners — " 


Some one inteprupted, I believe that it was the 
Bnssian-Finn, saying : " I'll bet they," meaning 
the owners of our ship, " don't have to eat this 
old salt horse three times a day.'' 

Riley voiced in with : " Begorra, and it's crame 
in their tay they are having, and divil a thimble- 
ful do we get here/' 

This last expression from the Irishman pleased 
the cook, who brought his fist down sharply on 
the pork-barrel, crying: "And, men, your only 
salvation lies in the ballot-box." 

The cook's ballot-box amused me. Who ever 
heard of a sailor voting? Out of ten of our 
crew, we had not one American citizen ! 

Our position at noon today was 17°. 24 north 
latitude, — longitude 142°.10 west. The wind 
has been steady from the northeast for the last 
forty-eight hours. I am satisfied that this is the 
commencement of the trade-winds. 

During the middle watch I was very sleepy, 
and decided to walk on the deck load as far for- 
ward as the mainmast, and back again, and so 
on. I noticed one of the crew standing against 
the weather main-rigging. As the night was 
dark, I could not make him out, and, remember- 


ing Old Charlie warning about the big Swede 
haying it in for me, I stepped over to the fife rail 
and pulled out a belaying-pin, thinking that it 
might come in handy in case this ghost-like figure 
started anything. But just then he lit his pipe, 
and from the rays of the match I could make 
out the features of Old Charlie himself. 

" Charlie,'' I said, " you scared me." 

"I have been standing here thinking, sir. 
Have you noticed the Bo'sun flying low lately, 
sir? '' 

The ^^ Bo'sun" Old Charlie alluded to is a 
tropical bird, snow-white with an exquisite tail, 
and flies very fast and usually very high. It is 
a common tradition among sailors that this beau- 
tiful bird is the embodiment of the souls of 
drowned sailors. 

"No, Charlie," said I, "I haven't noticed 

Taking a puflf from his old pipe, and button- 
ing his overcoat around his neck as if expecting 
a squall, then looking around the horizon to make 
sure that we would not be interrupted by any 
wind-jammer ; 


" Yes, sir, at noon today one came near alight- 
ing on the end of the jib-boom.'^ 

"You must have mistaken it for a sea-gull," 
said I. 

" No, sir ; it was no sea-gull. I have been sail- 
ing the seas for thirty-four years, and I have 
seen and heard strange things.'^ 

" Well, suppose it did light on the jib-boom ; it 
has to get a rest sometimes." 

"They have their island homes and never 
come near a ship, unless," speaking very softly, 
" unless some one is going to die." 

" Nonsense, Charlie. Surely you don't believe 
in such foolishness." 

" I started to tell you some time back about 
an old ship I was in off the Cape of Good Hope. 
Maybe you remember her, she was called ^ The 
Mud Puddler,' and Charlie continued with a 
grin, "she was never in the mud while I was 
on her." 

" Yes," said I, " I remember her. She sailed 
from Liverpool, didn't she?" 

"Yes, sir; that's her; four-masted and bark- 
rigged. Well, as I was saying, we left Calcutta 


bound for Hamburg. One night, oflf the Cape, 
it was my lookout. It was a fine night with a 
fresh breeze, and we were Roughing along about 
eight knots. I heard two bells go aft, and in 
that ship we had to answer all bells on the 
focVle head.'* 

" Is it one o'clock so soon? " thought I. 

" You know,'' speaking to me, " where the fish- 
tackle davit is?" 

" I know where it should be," said I. 

"Well, that is where I was standing." (A 
lookout is very important on all ships, especially 
at night, when they see a light or a sail they 
report to the officer on watch. ) " As I was in a 
hurry to answer the bell, not wanting the mate 
to think I was napping, I rushed to ring it, and, 
standing there, sir, was a man I had never seen ! " 

" It was one of the crew playing a joke on you," 
said I. 

" Oh, no, Mr. Mate, not at all, not at all. I 
knew every man on board of her, sir, and this 
man was not of this world. He had a pair of 
Wellington boots on, you know the kind, all 
leather, to just below the knee." 

" Yes," said I, " I know the kind." 

OMCBNS and superstitions 39 

"He also had a sou'wester with a neat-fit- 
ting peajacket. And, sir, it was his face that 
frightened me. His eyes were fiery, his 
beard was dark and thick, with heavy, bushy 

All this time I was getting very much inter- 
ested in Old Charlie's story. "What did you 
do? What did you say to him? " I asked, very 

" I reached in front of him to answer the bell. 
He spoke very mournfully, saying : ^ You shall 
have a visit from the Bo'sun tomorrow ; ' and he 
instantly disappeared and left me with my hand 
still stretched out for the bell-rope." . . . 

I could smell the smoke from a cigar, and 
knew that the Captain was pacing the poop. I 
walked aft slowly, anxious to hear what hap- 
pened on the bark "Mud Puddler." Sure 
enough, there was the Captain, walking up and 
down, and occasionally glancing at the compass. 
Evidently the ship was off her course when he 
came up from the cabin. He spoke to me rather 
harshly, saying : " Don't let these fellows," point- 
ing to the man at the wheel, " steer her all over 
the ocean," 


"Very well, sir. I was just forward seeing 
if the side-lights were burning brightly.** 

"Well, keep your eye on them, they are not 
to be trusted too long. And by tl^e way, have 
the second mate get up the old spare sails in his 
morning watch ; we have some roping and patch- 
ing to do before we bend them. They are all 
right tot this kind of weather. This breeze will 
carry us near the Equator." 

" Very good, sir. I will have Olsen get them 

He took one more look at the compass and 
went below. I went to the binnacle more to see 
the time than the compass. I was surprised to 
see that it was twenty minutes past three. I 
was anxious to go forward and have Charlie fin- 
ish his story, but, seeing a light in the Captain's 
room, I was doomed to finish the watch around 
the man at the wheel. 

My rather troubled sleep was ended by a rap 
at the door. It was the cook. "It has gone 
seven bells. Breakfast will be ready in a few 
minutes, sir." Dressing was easy for me. In 
fact, all it required was washing and putting on 
my cap, for in the tropics one has little use 


for clothes, which was indeed fortunate for me. 

" Steward/' said I, as I perfected my toilet, 
^^ what have you for breakfast this morning? " 
He hesitated before answering, and well I knew 
what was passing in his mind. ^^ How does he 
dare to ask me what I am going to have for 
breakfast! I who have befriended him. What 
have I for breakfast indeed ! '^ 

^^ Tongues and sounds," said the Emancipator, 
very sharply. 

*^ A breakfast fit for a king,'^ I replied cheer- 

The word " king '^ was a red flag to a bull to 
him. The presence of the Captain coming down 
the companion-way was all that saved me from 
the fate of all reigning monarchs. 

Tongues and sounds of the Alaska codfish come 


pickled in brine and packed in firkins, and are 
sold principally to marine shipping. All that is 
required in the process of cooking is to freshen 
them overnight, boil and serve with drawn but- 
ter. They are an enviable breakfast delicacy on 
land and sea. 

The cook, although upset by my reference to 
kings, lost none of the dignity of serving the 


byproduct of the Alaska cod. The Captain had 
little to say during the morning meal, and 
seemed worried about something. 

On my leaving the table he remarked : " Get 
your palm and needle. I want you to work with 
me on the spare sails, they are in bad shape.'' 

The spare sails were indeed much in need of 
repair. Where they were not worn threadbare, 
they had been chewed by the rats. While we 
were sitting side by side sewing, this afternoon, 
we talked of many things — ships and shipping, 
and foreign ports. 

" Do you know," said he, " that trip that took 
me to South America Vhen my wife died was 
going to be my last trip." He stopped sewing. 
« You see, she would never complain of being 
sick. Of course, I was away most of the time, 
spending about two weeks a year at home with 
her and the children. It was while I was home 
that trip, that I noticed how poorly she looked, 
and that cough, and realized how much she must 
have suffered. The doctor told me she might 
live for years with proper care and right climatic 
conditions. She and I talked it over and decided 
that on my return trip I would give up the sea 


for good, and devote my time to her and the 
children on a farm in Southern California. 
When I returned from Valparaiso and found that 
poor Bertha was dead, and the boys living with 
their aunt, it was more than I could stand." 

With tears streaming from his eyes, uncon- 
scious of the vast Pacific, the ship he was in, or 
even the crew around him, he munnured softly 
to himself: 

"My wife, my wife, — gone, gone." In this 
intense moment a ball of sewing twine rolled 
from his knee, and, reaching for it, he said : " Do 
you know that sometimes I think she is with 


The Shark — ^^ To Hell With Shark and 


I was so overcome by the Captain's tears and 
his great love for his deceased wife, that I failed 
to hear Old Charlie calling me from the wheel 
until he attracted my attention by pointing over 
the stem. 

" What is wrong? " I asked, thinking that per- 
haps the log line had carried away. 

" A black fin on the starboard quarter, sir." 

"What is that?'^ said the Captain, throwing 
the sail aside and walking aft. 

" It is a shark, sir," said I, " and a black one." 

Instantly all love and human kindliness left 
him. Jumping down onto the poop deck and 
looking over the rail. 

"By Heavens, you are right," he cried, "he 
must be twenty feet long. Run to the pork bar- 
rel and get a chunk of meat while I get the shark 



" Aye, aye, sir." In the excitement it did not 
take me long to reach the cook's salt pork barrel, 
and grabbing about ten pounds of salt horse I 
was aft again in a minute. The Captain was 
bending a three-inch rope into a swivel on a 
chain. The chain is about six feet from the 
hook. When the shark comes down with his six 
rows of teeth on each jaw, it takes more than 
manila rope to stop him, hence the quarter-inch 

The Captain was very much excited. " Here, 
damn it. No, he will nibble it ofiE the hook if you 
put it there. That is it. The center. Now over 
the side with it. Slack away on your line there. 
That is enough. Make fast." 

'' All fast, sir," said I. 

In our excitement of the morning we had for- 
gotten to take our observation for latitude. It 
was now past eight bells with the cook ringing 
the bell for dinner. The black fin was swimming 
around the salt horse, and it was easy to decide 
between them. 

" By God, there," pointing astern, " is another 
one," said the Captain. " Why in blazes don't 
he take the bait?" 


No sooner said than done. The big black fin 
turned over on his back and swallowed meat and 
hook, then righting himself and feeling grateful 
for so small a, morsel, and starting to swim away, 
he found that he was fast to the end of a rope. 

No one realized it more than the Captain. 
With a shout that could be heard all over the 
schooner : " Lay aft, all hands," he cried, " and 
lend a hand to pull in this black cannibal.'^ 

With all hands aft, including the cook, — his 
presence is always needed in emergencies like 
this, — " Get that boom tackle from oflE the main 
boom,'^ he continued, "and you," pointing to 
Olsen, " get a strop from the lazarette and fasten 
it up in the mizzen-rigging." 

" If I go down there," said Olsen, pointing to 
the lazarette hatch, " the cat may get out." ' 

"To Hell with the cat," said the Captain, 
" this is no time to stand on technicalities. Get 
the strop and get it up damned lively." 

Meantime the cook forgot that he was the hum- 
ble dispenser of salt horse and pea soup. He who 
had fought the land sharks for years, he who fiad 
stood hour after hour in the sweltering sun 
declaiming against the crimps and other para- 


sites of the Barbary coast^ was it not befitting 
that he should lead the charge on this black mon- 
ster of the deep? 

The Ballot-Box Cook, for this is the name I 
gave him, was standing abaft the mizzen-rigging, 
with unkempt iron-gray hair waving in the wind, 
a greasy apron, and bare feet. His large red 
nose had never lost any of its cherry color, as 
one would expect it to, under the bleaching 
influence of long voyages. His large supply of 
extract of lemon, with its sixty per cent of 
alcohol, is not to be deprecated in these times, 
when diluted to a nicety with water and sugar. 

On this particular day he had not neglected 
his midday tonic. Tucking his dirty apron into 
the belt that supported his overalls, and jump- 
ing down from the deckload to the poop deck, he 
exclaimed with the wildest gestures : 

" Holy Moses, men, don't let him get away/^ 

From the way that the shark was thrashing 
and beating the water, one would think that the 
three-inch rope would part from the strain at 
any minute. 

" Stop the ship ! " cried the cook. 

" Stop hell," retorted the Captain. 


" You will never land him/' insisted the cook ; 
" she has too much bloody way on her." 

" I'll attend to this ship ; I am master here," 
said the Captain angrily. 

" Master, you are? " here discipline between 
master and cook was fused away into the north- 
east trades. The cook, coming to attention with 
all the dignity of a newly-made corporal, said: 
" Captain, I'll have you understand that I have 
no masters, and " — shaking his fist at the Cap- 
tain, and slapping himself on the breast, " do 
you think that I have always been a sea-cook? " 

Under other conditions the Captain would have 
had him put in irons, but there was now too 
much at stake for him to even think of such a 
thing. For is not time the essence of all things? 
With this demon of the sea dangling on the end 
of a sixty-foot line, every minute seemed a cen- 
tury with the chance that hook, meat and line 
might sail away into fathomless depths. 

" Get to Hell forward to your galley ! I will 
send for you when I need you " — ^Here the cook, 
with rage interrupted : 

'*To Hell with you, shark and ship! The 
American Consul shall hear about this ! " With 


this parting shot he slouched forward to the 

"Here, damn you, here,'^ continued the Cap- 
V tain, forgetting him on the instant. " Here, you, 
Nelson, put a sheep-shank in the shark-line — 
now hook your block in. .That's the way. Hoist 
away on your tackle.'' After giving these orders 
he hopped up on the deck-load to direct the course 
of the incoming shark. With the crew pulling 
all their might, we could not get him in an inch. 

"If we wait a little while. Captain," said 
Olsen, " he may drown." 

" Drown be damned, who ever heard of a shark 
drowning? Get a snatch-block, hook it into the 
deck-lashing, take a line forward, and heave him 
in with the capstan." 

Leaving the second mate with the crew to heave 
in the shark, I walked aft to join the Captain. 
While passing the galley I could hear the cook 
singing, "Marchons, marchons," — I knew it 
would be dangerous to interrupt him. 

After heaving about twenty minutes the shark 
was alongside with the head about three feet out 
of water. 

" Belay ! " roared the Captain, " come aft, here. 


a couple of you. Slip a running bowline over 
his head, we must not lose him. That is the 
way. Take a turn around the mast. All right 
aft. Heave away on your capstan." 

As the enemy of every sailor who sails the seas 
came alongside, with him came the strains of 
the old capstan chantey : 

*' Sally Brown, I love your daughter, 

Heave, ho, roll and go, 
For seven long years I courted Sally, 

I spent my money on Sally Brown.'' 

Before the second verse of the aged Sally was 
finished, Black Fin was ours to do and dare. 

"Make fast forward," shouted the Captain, 
" and bring your capstan bars aft. One of you 
get the crowbar from the donkey-room." 

If there is anything in this world that a sailor 
loves, it is to kill a shark. We secured him 
safely on the deckload, for they are not to be 
trusted out of water, especially if one gets too 
near to the head or tail. This monster measured 
seventeen feet, six inches. With capstan bars, 
crowbar and sharp knives it didn't take long to 
tf^ke the fight out of hini, 


After being cut up, the choice parts were given 
to members of the crew, such as the backbone for 
a walking-stick, the gall for cleaning shoes and 
so forth. The eyeballs, when properly cured in 
the sunlight resemble oyster pearls. I took the 
most coveted part, the jaw, and when it was 
opened, it measured twenty-two inches. The 
Captain ordered what was left of him thrown 
overboard, and turning to me said, "Have the 
steward serve dinner.'' 

" How about the other shark, sir? " 
" Oh, we will leave him until after we eaf 
After dinner there was no shark to be seen. 
"We have made a sad mistake,'' lamented the 
Captain. " We should not have thrown the first 
shark overboard. By doing that we have fed 
him to the second." 


The Tin-Platb Fight — Onb-Eybd Riley 


It was my watch below, and only one hour 
and a half left to sleep. Taking oflE my cap, I 
hopped into the bunk, and was just dozing ofif to 
sleep when the Cook opened the door saying: 
" Have you anything to read? ^^ 

"No, I have not,^' I replied, impatiently. 

" Well,^^ said he, unheeding, " I wish you would 
read this book. It is *The Superman,' by 
Nietzsche. I also want you to read Karl Marx, 
in three volumes. Then you will understand 
why I hate sharks and masters." With the last 
remark he slammed the door behind him. 

The watch from eight to twelve was wonder- 
fully fascinating, and full of romance. A full 
moon hung in the clear tropical sky. The waters 
rippled, and the Southern Cross glimmered in 
the distant horizon. Occasionally a block or 
boom squeaked, as if to say, "I, too, lend 
enchantment to the night." 



At ten-thirty the light went ont in the Cap- 
tain's room. I knew that, tired by the excite- 
ment of the day, it would not be long before he 
would be asleep. With instructions to the wheel- 
man to keep her on her course, I went forward 
to see Old Charlie, and hear from him what hap- 
pened next aboard the bark ^^ Mud Puddler." 

" As I was saying last night, there I stood with 
my hand stretched out to ring the bell, and, sir, 
I could not move a muscle." 

" Charlie," said I, " you were just dozing and 
dreaming, and thought that you heard the bell 

" Not at all, sir, not at all. For the mate came, 
forward cursing and swearing and telling me 
that if I slept again on watch he would dock me 
a month's pay. I have sailed under flags of 
many nations, sir, and never have I been caught 
dozing at the wheel or on the lookout." 

" What about the Flying Bo'sun, did he visit 
your ship? " 

Old Charlie was too solemn for one to think 
lightly of his story. 

"Wait, sir, don't go too fast. At breakfast 
the next morning I was telling my shipmates 


about the strange man on the foc's^le. In 
describing how he looked and the clothes he wore, 
one old sailor seemed much interested. 

" You say he wore Wellington boots and a pea- 
jacket? What color did you say his beard was? '^ 

" Black and bushy/' said I. 

" That's very strange, very strange,'' said the 
old sailor. 

One member of the crew laughed at the old 
man's last remark, and said : " What is strange 
about it? One would really believe that you 
thought that Charlie :was awake. Ha, ha, the 
joke is on you." 

Old John, for that was his name, pushed his 
hook-pot and plate over on the bench and rising 
very slowly to his feet said, " Shipmates, I am 
sixty -two years old. I have sailed the seas since 
I was fourteen. I want to say that the appari- 
tion that Charlie saw last night is not a joke, 
but a stem reality, and, shipmates, some one of 
us is going on the Long Voyage." 

Here Charlie stopped to fill and light his pipe. 

" What happened next? " I asked. 

^^ Well, sir, in the afternoon watch I was out on 
the jib-boom reeving off a new jib downhaul, and. 


sir, as true as I stand here, there, almost within 
arm's length, sat the Flying Bo'sun. Three days 
later we ran into a storm oflE the Cape, — you 
know the short, choppy, ugly sea we get off there? 
It was during this storm that we lost three men, 
and one of them was old Sailor John. So you 
see I have reason to believe in coming disaster. 
With the Bo'sun waiting to alight, and sharks 
following the ship, I tell you that something is 
going to happen soon." 

As Charlie finished his story, the man at the 
wheel struck one bell, a quarter to twelve. It is 
always customary to give the crew fifteen min- 
utes for dressing, that when eight bells is rung 
the watcher may be promptly relieved. I called 
the second mate, got a sandwicli, and went on 
deck again to take the distance run by the log. 

While I was waiting for Olsen to relieve me 
Old Chstrlie came running aft. " They are kill- 
ing each other in the foc's'le, sir." 

" Who is it? " I asked. 

" One-Eyed Riley and Swanson, sir." 

" Who is getting the best of it? " 

" Swanson, sir. He has Riley down, and is 
beating him over the head witlra tin plate." 


Looking down into the forecastle I could see 
Swanson stretched out with Riley standing over 
him^ a marline-spike in his hand; cursing and 

" Bad luck to you for a big squarehead. It's 
trying to tear me good eye out, you are. Mother 
of God, look at me tin plate that he bate me 
with, it is all crumbled in. Sure and I can't use 
that agin, and divil another this side of San 

" Riley," said I, " have you killed this man? " 

« Begorra, sir, me intintions was well-meanin\ 
I broke me spike on him." 

" Turn him over," I commanded, " and see if 
there is any life in him." 

" Now, throw some water on him." 

" The divil a drop will I throw on him, sir, but 
if you will say the word, I'll pitch him into the 

In a few minutes Swanson came to, terribly 
bruised about the head, and no more fight in 

" Riley," said I, " you beat this man, now you 
must bandage him up and take care of him." 

"Ah, sure, sir; it's murdher you'd be after 


wantin' me to do and it's bandage him up you 
want. Heavenly Father, with me new tin plate 
all spoiled, what in the divil am I going to ate 
oflE of? '' 

" Eight bells ! " sang out the man on the look- 
out. It was Swanson's lookout watch, and the 
Finn's wheel. 

" Riley, you will have to keep the Swede's look- 
out this watch. He is dazed and stupid from the 
beating you gave him. There is danger of him 
walking overboard." 

Swanson crawled over to the bench as if in 
terrible pain, muttering : " I will get this Irish 
dog, and when I do, look out, I will kill him." 

The other members of the watch below were 
too busy dressing to pay much attention to the 
fight, but one could see that they were proud of 
Riley's work. 

" Ha, ha, an' it's kill me you would, me fine 
bucko, an' sure you might if I had no eyes in me 
head. You dirty baste. Let me finish him, sir." 

" Riley," said I, severely, " get up on deck, and 
relieve the man on the lookout, or I will place 
you both in irons." 

Riley went on duty very reluctantly, saying. 


" Begorra, rir, and it's sorry youTl be for not let- 
ting me finish him/' 

" Bwanson,'' I said, " yon will be all right in 
the morning. Yon have a few bad bnmps on 
your head, bnt a hard and tough man like you 
should not mind that. 

I left him grumbling and whining and swear- 
ing yengeance, saying to himself : " By Jiminy, I 
get even mit dem all.'' 

On the forecastle head Kiley was pacing up 
and down, evidently very happy and pleased with 
the night's work. He was humming an old ditty, 
and sometimes breaking out singing : 

**Blow you winds while sails are spreading, 

Carry me cheerily o'er the sea. 
I'll go back, de dom, de dido, 

To my sweetheart in the old countree." 

In the cabin the Captain wad looking through 
the nautical almanack to find a star that was 
crossing our meridian. 

" You know," speaking to me, " we must not 
allow sharks nor anything else to interfere with 
the progress of the ship. I want to cross the 
Equator about in 150° west. I believe that I 


shall have to keep her a little to the westward 
now. Ah, here I have it, the star Draconis, it 
crosses our meridian at 1 hr. 15 min. Just give 
me your latitude by dead reckoning." 

" Here you are, sir,'' handing him the latitude. 
"With this moderate breeze she has made 110 
miles since noon today." 

" It looks," said he, " as if she were going to 
beat her last trip to the Equator. But, of course, 
there's the doldrums. One can never tell. 
Sometimes a ship will run through and into the 
southeast trades, and escape the doldrums. But 
that seldom happens to me." 

The next few days were spent sewing sails, 
the crew rattling her down, cleaning brass-work 
and chipping iron rust from the anchor chain. 
A ship is like a farm, there is always work to be 
done, and a sailor must never be idle. It is the 
mate's duty to find work to keep them going. 
A mate's ability is usually measured by the 
amount of work that he gets out of the crew, 
especially when she sails into her home port. 

There the owners come aboard, and if they 
do not wring their hands, and tear their hair, 
and sometimes tramp on their hats or caps, the 


mate is indeed to be complimented. They will 
sometimes walk up to you and say : 

" Well, you had a fine voyage, I see,'' looking 
around at the masts, and yards, and paint- work. 
" Do you smoke? Here is a very fine cigar, three 
for a dollar." (More often it is three for ten 
cents. ) 

I remember the old barque " Jinney Thomp- 
son." We were three weeks overdue. When 
we finally arrived the owner was there on the 
dock and fired every man aboard her. It seems 
that every day for three weeks he had never failed 
to make his appearance at the wharf. On this 
day while the tug-boat wds docking us there he 
stood, white with rage. 

" Get off my ship, you damned pirates, every 
man, woman and child of you ! To think that I 
should have lost one hundred and fifty dollars 
on this trip. Get off, damn you, get off ! " 


In Which the Captain Wounds His Hand 

" No, sir, he won't stay down there," said the 
cook. " He caught a flying-fish the other night ; 
it lit on the deck forward. Since then he just 
sits in the main rigging watching. When I get 
near him he runs up aloft.'' 

" I must tell the mate," said the Captain, " to 
move the flour into the spare room. Those 
damned rats will eat us out yet. Why don't you 
tie Toby with the stores?" 

" I can't, sir, he won't let me near enough." 

This conversation was going on in the cabin 
while I was trying to read Henry George. I 
went to sleep wondering how a single tax could 
be applied to city property. I was not asleep 
long before I was awakened by loud tapping on 
my door. " Come in," said I. The door opened. 
There stood the Captain, pale and excited. 

" Would you mind tying up this hand for me? 

I stuck a marline spike through here," pointing 



to the fleshy part between the thumb and fore- 
finger of the right hand. 

" Just one minute, sir, I'll get some hot water." 

Fortunately there was hot water in the galley. 

" There you are, sir, put your hand in the 
bucket. No, it is not too hot. There, see, I hold 
my hand in it.'' 

Satisfied that there was no danger of cook- 
ing it, he pulled the rag off, and thrust his hand 
into the bucket. I noticed that there was no 
blood to speak of. I said, "Captain, did the 
spike go through your hand? '^ 

" Hell, yes, man, about three inches." 

I suggested many remedies, such as washing 
it with saline solution and bandaging with oakum 
and so on. But he would have none of them, 
and insisted on having the rag tied around, 
assuring me that it would be well in a day or so. 
He kept on deck most of the first watch, but 
was evidently in great pain. 

"I think that we are running into the dol- 
drums from the look of those clouds to the east- 
ward," said he. 

" We have one thing in our favor," I replied ; 


**we should have a three-knot current to the 
southward according to the pilot chart/' 

" You should not rely on what those fellows in 
Washington put onto paper. If you do you will 
never get anywhere." 

At five o'clock in the morning it was raining. 
There is no place in the world where it rains as 
it does around the Equator; it seems as if the 
celestial sluice-gates had gotten beyond control. 
We were becalmed^ and in the doldrums^ with 
not a breath of air. Usually this lasts for five 
or six days. 

During this time every one on board is very 
busy, catching water, filling barrels, washing 
clothes, and working ship. The latter work 
is hard on the crew, for you are always 
trimming ship for every puff of wind that 
comes along. Pity the weak-kneed mate in 'the 
doldrums. There are times when you tack and 
wear, and boxhaul ship every fifteen minutes. 
The crew resent this kind of work, and while 
doing it they curse and swear, and will do the 
opposite to what they are told. 

Here is where the old-school mate comes in. 


Obey orders. He sees that they do obey. Lazy 
sailors breed discontent, and discipline must be 
stern. If a member of the crew happens to be 
idle, he must by no means appear to be. He 
must at least act very seriously, and look to wind- 
ward, as if beckoning for a breeze. There is an 
old saying among sailing-ship-men : 

**When the wind is fair the money comes in over the 

When the wind is ahead the money comes in over the 


so a sailor must never show that the unfavorable 
weather is making pay for him. He must never 
whistle a tune, nor sing a song, but he is priv- 
ileged at all times during a calm to whistle as if 
he were calling a dog, for if you don't get wind 
with the dog-whistling, you are not to blame. I 
have seen captains standing for hours whistling 
for wind. Pity the man who would smile or 
crack a joke on so serious an occasion. One 
captain I was with, after whistling off and on all 
day without avail, threw three of his hats over- 
board, one after the other, crying in rage, 
" There, now, damn you, give us a gale." 


The wise mate knows his place in trying times 
like these. He never goes aft, thereby avoiding 
serious discussions. He always makes it his 
business to be very busy in the forepart of the 
ship. The worst time for him is meal-time. It 
is not uncommon to finish eating without a word 
being spoken. The cook is not exempt. Should 
the captain count more than ten raisins in the 
bread-pudding, look out for a squall ! ^' 

At breakfast I ate alone. The Captain was 
walking around in his room. 

" How is your hand, sir? " I inquired. 

" It is very painful. I have just been washing 
it with a little carbolic acid I found in a drawer.^* 

*^ I have taken off staysails, topsails and inner 
and outer jib, sir.^' 

He did not answer, but shut his door with a 
slam. I was worried about his condition, but 
was helpless to do anything for him. He was 
the stubborn type, with tight lips, and projecting 
cheek-bones. He believed that what he could 
not do for himself no other could do for him. I 
think that this applied only to strangers. As 
captain of a ship you are always dealing with 
new faces, and never have much confidence in 


any one. For instance if, in taking the altitude 
of the sun or a star, his reckoning should differ 
from yours by a mile or so, you would always 
be wrong. The same with longitude by chron- 
ometer in time. 

The loneliness of the sea must be responsible 
for this. And yet in their home life, they are 
ruled and dominated by their wives and chil- 
dren. I remember one old captain I sailed with 
in the China Seas. Fight? He loved it, ashore 
and afloat, and was very proud of his ability, 
claiming that he never took the count. The lat- 
ter I know to be true. We left ports while I 
was sailing with him, where much furniture was 
easily adaptable for firewood. 

When in the home port where his wife was, if 
he had spent more than she allowed him, I would 
have to make up the difference. She would come 
down to the ship and say : " Herman, come here, 
I want you to do so and so.'^ He would look at 
me, but never ashamed, and say, "Well, what 
in Hell can I do? " 

" But, Captain, I want your advice on so and 


** Never mind now," he would say, " till I steer 
her away. You know she don't like you too well 
anyhow. She heard all about the fight we had in 
Yokohama with the rickshaw men." Away they 
would go, arm in arm, a very happy couple. 

W TM..} 

.-■^ftJ-Bfc- Y'iV?>.- 

/ i 


The Bo'sun Lights — The Captain's Death 

I was so worried about the Captain that I had 
no desire to sleep during the forenoon watch. 
About eleven o'clock he came to my room saying : 

" I can't stand this pain, it is driving me wild. 
You take charge of the ship. Take every possi- 
ble advantage you can, until we run out of the 
doldrums. Here are charts covering the South 
Sea Isles, and here," pointing to a small box, " is 
the Manifest, and Bill of Health." While look- 
ing at the latter I came into contact with his 
right hand. I was surprised to find that he was 
burning with fever. 

" Captain, may I look at your hand? " 

He eyed me with the same suspicion as when I 
was suggesting treatments on the previous day. 
But the stubborn nature of him was giving way 
to a feeling of friendship and sympathy, a sym- 
pathy so noticeable in ^11 living creatures when 
their material existence is in danger. 



^^ Yes, you can look at it, if it will do you any 
good,'' holding the hand out for me to take the 
bandage oflP. " I don't mind the hand so much 
as I do this lump under my arm, it is so pain- 

With the bandage oflP I was horrified to see the 
condition of the wound. It was turning black, 
and a fiery red stripe ran up the arm. He must 
have guessed what was going on in my mind. 

" Yes," said he, " it is blood-poisoning, and a 
damned bad case. Don't tell me what to do for 
it. I have tried everything I can think of to 
prevent this condition." 

^* Let us cut it open and keep it in hot water," 
said I. 

" Tie it up again," he replied angrily, " you are 
only adding insult to injury." He turned to his 
wife's picture which hung at the head of the bed, 
saying, " You understand, you understand. We 
may soon sail away through the silvery seas to 
our Land of the Midnight Sun." 

I went on deck thoroughly alarmed at the Cap- 
tain's condition and aware that, unless a miracle 
should happen within the next forty-eight hours, 
he would be dead of septicsemia. 


We were still becalmed ; — not a breath to curl 
the blue roll. With booms and sails swinging 
and wailing as she rolled and pitched in the 
trough of the sea, the angry gods of the Celestial 
World belched forth their wrath in thunder and 
lightning. This, coupled with the condition of 
the Captain, made me feel, as never before, the 
utter lonesomeness of the sea. It was useless, 
with the clouded skies, to try to get a position of 
the ship for drift. She had made no progress by 
log for twenty hours. I was anxious to know 
the course and speed of the current. 

In going forward to see what the crew was 
doing, I met Olsen coming aft, holding a wet rag 
over his eye. 

He said, " I have had trouble with Swanson, 
he refuses to work ship. He thinks it is not 
necessary to tack and boxhaul, he wants to wait 
for the wind.^^ 

Olsen had the real thing, if black eyes count 
in the performance of one's duty. 

"Are you afraid of him?^' said I. "If you 
are, keep away from him. You will only spoil 
him, and make him believe that he is running 
the ship. Here," and I pulled a belaying-pin out 


from the fife-rail, " Go forward and work thi^ on 

" No," said Olsen, " he is too big and strong 
for me. He told me that there is no one on 
board big and strong enough to make him work. 
I understand that he almost killed a mate named 
Larsen — " 

Here the cook interrupted, saying : " Mr. Mate, 
the Captain wants you in the cabin." 

" Do you want me, sir? " 

" Yes, this pain is killing me, killing me, don't 
you realize how I am suffering? Why did you 
leave me? Why don't you do something to 
relieve me of this burning Hell? " 

I did realize that the poison was general, and 
that he was becoming delirious. The unshaven 
face, the ruffled hair, the dry parched lips, the 
wild staring. It was plain that for him Val- 
halla lay in the offing. 

" Yes, Captain," said I, " you are suffering, but 
strong men like you must be brave. You, who 
for years weathered the storms of Seven Seas, 
must now keep off the lee shore. The wind will 
soon be off the land. Then ho! for the ocean 


^* You are very kind," he said, collecting him- 
self to try to cheer me up, "but it is no use. 
Fop I can see the lee shore with its submerged 
and dangerous reefs, I can hear the billows roar, 
and watch the thunderous sea pour its defiance 
on the ragged crags of granite. Yes, I am drift- 
ing, drifting there.'* 

After cutting open the hand and arm, and 
bathing in salt solution, he felt somewhat 
relieved, and decided that he would try to sleep. 
Leaving him in charge of the cook, with instruc- 
tions to keep him in bed, I went on deck with a 
heavy heart, realizing that soon I should be 
responsible for the crew and cargo. 

Old Charlie wais at the wheel. " How is the 
Captain, sir?'* 

" He is a very sick man, Charlie.'* 

" Look, look,'* he cried, " there he comes, lower 
and lower,'' and he pointed to the maintopmast 
truck. " Great Heavens, he is going to alight ! 
Yes, yes; there he sits," and there, sure enough, 
sat the most beautiful bird in the tropics, the 
Flying Bo'sun. 

I spent the afternoon sitting with the Captain, 
who was still sleeping. At five o'clock I tried 


to arouse hiniy but found that he had lapsed into 
a state of coma. I left Olsen and the cook look- 
ing .after him while I went to see to the ship. 

About eleven o^clock I felt very sleepy, having 
then been without sleep for eighteen hours. In 
order to keep awake, I decided to walk on the 
deck-load until Olsen relieved me. It was while 
thus walking that I went asleep, and fell, or 
walked, overboard. 

The deck-load of lumber is always stowed with 
the shear of the ship and flush with the sides 
or bulwarks. There is no rail or lifeline, and 
hence the sudden plunge. Coming to the sur- 
face I was very much awake, and swimming to 
the chain plates, I easily pulled myself out of the 
water, and into the rigging, and up onto the 
deck. While I was wringing out my pants. Old 
Charlie came creeping aft, saying : " Mr. Mate, 
something is going to happen from his visit 

" To Hell with your Flying Bo'sun," I snapped, 
" you are always predicting death and ghosts and 
so on." 

I was sorry that I had spoken to the old 
sailor this way, but after falling fifteen feet into 


the ocean, and just, by the chance of a calm, sav- 
ing my life, I was in no mood to tolerate the 
re-incarnated souls of drowned sailors that were 
living in Old Charlie's Flying Bo'sun. 

Charlie, much distressed at having the omens 
he loved so dearly so lightly disregarded, slunk 
away in the shadow of the mainsail. 

Eiley, the man on the lookout, was true to his 
trust, and no object in the hazy horizon would 
escape the vigilance of his squinty left eye. Evi- 
dently he was not carried away by the super- 
natural things of life, but very much in the mate- 
rial, judging from his song: 

''Better days are coming to reward us for our woe, 
And we'll all go back to Ireland when the landlords 


When Olsen relieved me on deck, I took his 
place with the Captain, who, although uncon- 
scious, was still hanging to the delicately spun 
threads of life. As I was sponging the dry and 
parched lips, I glanced at the picture of her 
whom he loved so well. How beautiful it would 
be, if it should come to pass as he believed, and 


she should pilot him away in their astral ship 
to the shades of Valhalla ! 

While my thoughts ran thus, I was suddenly 
conscious of a desert stillness. Then creaking 
booms gave way to a gentle lullaby. The ship no 
longer rolled and pitched in the trough of the 
sea. Everything below was peaceful and calm. 
I could hear Olsen calling : 

" Slack away on the boom-tackle, and haul in 
on your spanker-sheet ! '' 

I knew then that at last we had the long-looked- 
for southeast trade-winds. With the wind came 
taut sheets and steady booms, and on the face of 
the dead Captain there was a smile as if saying : 

" Away with you to the tall green palms ! " 


The Showdown — Swanson Takbs the Count 

I dimmed the swivel light in the Captain's 
room, locked the door and went on deck. Above, 
there was a fair breeze, and the sky was clear 
and glittering with millions of stars. 

"What course are you steering?'' said I to 
the man at the wheel. 

" South-southwest, sir." 

" Let her go off to southwest." I was anxious 
to take advantage of the wind by getting all sail 
on her. 

" Where is the second mate? " 

" He is forward, sir, setting the jibs." 

Going forward, I shouted to Olsen : " Get the 
topsails and staysails on her as fast as you can." 

" Aye, aye, sir. I am short-handed ; Swanson 
refuses to come on deck. I sent Russian-Finn 
John down to tell him that we had a fine breeze, 
and wanted him to come up and trim ship^ Do 
you know, sir, he kicked him out of the fo'c'sle? " 


I took stock of myself. I was twenty-four 
years old, and weighed one hundred and eighty 
pounds. The big brute in the forecastle, refus- 
ing to work, whipping the second mate, and kick- 
ing his shipmates about, was getting too much fop 
me. I made up my mind that there would be 
two dead captains or one damned live one. 

Going aft to my room, I got a pair of canvas 
slippers that I had made, for with this brute 
I should be handicapped in bare feet. With the 
slippers on, and overalls well cinched up around 
me, I went to the forecastle, past Olsen, who 
was sheeting home the fore-topsail. 

Calling down the forecastle, I said : " Swanson, 
come on deck." When he appeared : " I suppose 
you know that you are guilty of a crime on the 
high seas? " 

He answered me back, saying : " I tank about 
it," and took his stand obstinately at the foot of 
the ladder. 

The anger and passion of thousands of years 
was upon me. I forgot the ship, forgot the dead 
captain. I skidded down the scuttle-hatch into 
the forecastle, where he stood, awaiting me with 
a. large sheath-knife in Im hand. 


"Are you going on deck?" I shouted. 

" You , , /' flourishing the knife ; 

" kap avay from me, I kill you ! " 

I noticed an oilskin coat hanging on the bulk- 
head, i must say that my mind was working 
overtime. My height was five feet eleven, and 
he towered above me like a giant. I was aware 
of the powerful legs and arms of this brute, con- 
veying the suggestion of second money to me. 
If I were to trim this gorilla, it would require 
tact and skill. Otherwise I felt that the dead 
Captain would not have much start on me. He 
took a step toward me, saying : 

" You get on deck damn quick, or by Jiminy 
I cut your heart out ! " 

Quick as a flash I seized the oilskin coat. As 
he raised his arm to stab me I threw it over his 
head and arm, then jumped for him. After some 
minutes' hard work I succeeded in wresting the 
knife from him, but not without marks on my 
legs, arms and hands. The forecastle was so 
small it was hard to do much real fighting. It 
was more rough and tumble, and this kind of a 
battle favored the Swede. 


While slashing with the knife, he cut the J)elt 
that held up my overalls. I was handicapped by 
these hanging around my fe^t, but fortunately 
landed a right on his jaw, which sent him fall- 
ing into his bunk. This gave me a chance to kick 
free from the pants, and in so doing I kicked one 
of the canvas shoes off. I can't remember when 
I lost the shirt, but what was left of it was lying 
by the bench. He pulled himself from the bunk 
saying, " I tank I go on deck." 

" Well,'* thought I, " there is not much fight 
in him after all." 

It was about twelve feet from the forecastle to 
the deck. When he reached the deck I started up 
after him. When my head was even with the 
deck, he stepped from behind the scuttle and 
kicked me in the forehead, knocking me back to 
the forecastle. Had he followed up the blow I 
should have indeed joined the dead Captain. 

But no, he thought that he had finished me for 

When I came to, I could hear strange noises 
around me. Some one was washing my face, and 
saying : " And begorra, it is far from being fin- 


ished you are, me good man." It was RUey. 

Old Charlie voiced in, saying : " That is a bad 
cut on his forehead.'' 

Eiley had no use for pessimists. " Ah, go wan 
with you, sure an it is only a scratch he has. 
Now when I had me eye knocked out — " 

Here I got upon my feet, dazed, but with no 
broken bones. "Where is Swanson?" 

" He is aft by the mainmast, sur, and be Hivins, 
it is a sight he is, sur." 

" Riley," said I, " come on deck and throw a 
few buckets of salt water on me." There is noth- 
ing so iuTigorating as salt water when one is 

After the bath, with its salty sting in my cuts 
and scratches, I was ready for the cur again. 
He saw me coming up on the deck-load, and 
straightened up as if' he thought that there was 
still some fight left in me. I noticed that he had 
a wooden belaying-pin in his hand. I took my 
cue from that. 

Stalling that I was all in, and crawling aft to 
my room, I gave him this impression until I was 
abreast of him, and then I was on him with a 
vengeance. I snatched the pin from him, and 


finished him in a hurry. When he cried for 
mercy, and promised that he would work, and 
work with a will, I decided that he had had as 
good a trimming as I could give him, and let 
him up. 

" Now, I want you to stay on deck, and work 
until I tell you that you can have a watch 

Calling all hands, I said, " Men, our Ca!^tain 
died during the middle watch. We will bury 
him at nine o'clock this morning.'* 

With the surprised and solemn look of the 
crew as they heard my announcement, was min- 
gled no mirth at my scant attire of one canvas 
shoe. That was lost in their sympathy for him 
who was taking the long sleep, and I doubt if they 
noticed it at all. 

Death on board a ship creates a hushed still- 
ness. Amongst the crew Old Charlie looked up 
at the mast as if expecting another Bo'sun to 
appear. He seemed satisfied with his predic- 
tions. But Riley took a different view. 

" Mother of God ! It's fighting there has been 
going on with the poor dead Captain laying aft 
there. Be Heavens, sir,'* pointing, " it's bad luck 


we will be having for carrying on like this in the 
presence iv th' dead/' 

Sending him after my overalls and shoe, I went 
to my room to look myself over. My eyes were 
black, face cut, arms, hands and body cut and 
scratched, and worst of all, was my forehead 
where the brute had kicked me. I still carry 
this scar. I was somewhat alarmed with these 
open wounds, and knew that I must be careful 
of handling the Captain. 

Hot breakfast, with its steaming coffee, did 
much to revive me, and for the second time I 
was aware that the Socialist cook was a friend in 

Burial at Sea — At Which Riley Officiates 

At eight o'clock I called Riley and Old Charlie 
aft to the cabin. "Riley," said I, opening the 
door to the Captain's room, "I want you and 
Charlie to sew the Captain's body in this tarpau- 
lin, while I go and find something to sink it with. 
Roll him over towards the partition, then roll 
him back onto the hatch-cover, then gather it in 
at both ends." 

" Aye, aye, sir, and shure it is meself that has 
sewed many av thim up." 

In the boatswain's locker I found plenty of old 
chain bolts and shackles. I had one of the crew 
carry them to the weather main rigging. While 
going down the companion-way to see how Riley 
and Charlie were getting along with their sew- 
ing, I thought, by a sudden noise, that they had 
begun to quarrel. 

" Where the divil did you ever sew up a dead 
man?" came in Riley's voice, and "Damn you, 



pull that flap down over his face." Then I could 
hear boots and glasses being thrown around. 
" Get out of here, you black divil, it's eating your 
master you would be doing, pss-cat, pss-cat, you 
dirty, hungry-looking tiger ! '^ 

Then all was still for a few seconds. Then Old 
Charlie's voice saying, "Mike Riley, this is a 
terrible calamity that has happened to us, the loss 
of our captain. And Riley, this is not all. I 
am afraid there will be more." 

" Ah, go wan wit your platting," said Riley, 
" Pull the seam tight around his neck. That is 
the way. Now sew it with a herring-bone stitch. 
Hould on a minute, Charlie, till I get me last look 
at him. Faith, and be my sowl, he wasn't a very 
bad-looking man." 

Here I walked into the room, saying : " When 
you are finished I will get you more help to carry 
him on deck. But leave a place open at the head 
so that we can put the weights in." 

" Sinking him by the head is it you are, sir? 
Glory be to God, don't do that. Let him go down 
feet first, sir. Be Hivins, if you put him down 
be the head we will have the divil's own luck! 
I remember wan time on the auld lime-juicer 


' King of the Seas/ the second mate died. We 
weighed him down by the head — begob, and it 
wasn't a week till ivery man av us had the 

"Riley," I laughed, "you are a very super- 
stitious man." 

" It's you that are mistaken, sir. Sure an I'm 
annything but that, sir." 

The cook interrupted us to ask if he could help 
in any way. I told him to help Charlie and 
Riley carry the body up on deck. Riley at once 
took command. " Charlie, you take the head, I 
will take the feet, and. Steward, you can help 
in the middle. Are you all ready? Up wit him, 
then, — be Hivins isn't he heavy?" 

Charlie started towards the door so as to take 
the body out head first. Riley promptly objected 
to this move, and propped the feet on the edge of 
the berth while he asserted his authority. 

"And it's take him out be the head ye'd be 
after doing? Where in blazes did you come 
from? Oh, you poor auld divil you ! Whoever 
heard of takin' a corpse out head first. Turn 
him around, bad luck to you, with his feet out. 
Sure, an it's walk out on his feet he would, if h« 


were on thim. Niver do that, Charlie, me boy, 
if ye want to prosper in this life." 

We pulled two planks from the deckload, and 
spiked cross-pieces on, while Riley supervised the 
weighing-down. Then all was ready to commit 
the body to the deep blue sea. 

While the second mate was back-filling the 
foresail and hauling the main-jib to windward, 
to stop the ship for sea-burial, I fell to thinking 
of our Captain. Here he was, in the prime of 
life, about to be cast into the sea. No one to 
love him, no one to care, none but the rough if 
kindly hands of sailors to guide him to his rest- 
ing-place. As I glanced around the horizon, and 
the broad expanse of the Pacific, I was overcome 
by loneliness. Ships might come and ships 
might go, and still there would be no sign of his 
last resting-place, no chance to pay respects to 
the upright seaman, the devoted husband and 
father. The silent ocean currents, responsible 
to no one, would be drifting him hither and 

The last few days and the terrible fight were 
telling upon me. 

I was astonished to look around and find that 


I was alone with the dead. The only other per- 
son on deck was Broken-Nosed Pete at the wheel. 

I went forward and sung out : *^ Come forward, 
some of you, and lend a hand here." 

"Aye, aye, sir; we are coming," answered 
Riley's brogue. 

There was something about Biley, in his sim- 
ple seriousness and appeal to my humor, that was 
a great help to me just now. They came aft, 
every one of them, in their best clothes, with 
shined and squeaky shoes, looking yery solemn. 
"Here,'' said I, "take a hand and shove the 
planks out so that the body will clear the bulwark 
rail when she rolls to windward." I was about 
to give the order to tip the plank, when I was 
interrupted by Riley saying excitedly: "Lord 
God, sir, aren't you going to say something over 

" Riley," I said as the crew gathered around, 
"I have nothing to say, except that I commit 
this body to the sea. Up with the plank." 

" Hould on, hould on," cried Riley in despair. 
" Sure I wouldn't send a dog over like that ! I 
will read the Litany of the Blissed Virgin Mary, 
and it don't make a damned bit av diffrunce 


whether he belaves it or not. Hould on, me boy, 
till I get my prayer book." 

Riley returned from the forecastle cursing and 

" Howly Mother av Moses, they have ate the 
Litany out av me prayer-book, and the poor sowl 
about to be throwed overboard." 

" What is the matter, Riley? " I asked. 

*'Ah, the dirty divils! The rats has made a 
nest av me Holy Prayer-book ! " 

" Sanctified rats — " I was beginning profanely, 
when fortunately the cook interrupted me. 

" What good will a prayer-book do him now ? 
Tour prayer-books, and flowers and beautiful 
coffins are only advertisements of ignorance. 
The man of thought today throws those prim- 
itive things away, or sends them back to the sav- 
ages. You men will in time come to believe in a 
Creative Power of Organization, or a Material 
Force, but in your present state of ignorance you 
are carried away by a supernatural power des- 
tined for the poor and helpless." 

While the cook was talking Riley was taking 
oflF his coat, and rolling up his sleeves. " It is 


poor and helpless we are, are we? You durty, 
fat, Dutch hound. Take back what you were 
saying,'^ as he grabbed him by the neck, " or be 
me sowl it's over you go before the Owld Man. 
It is ignorant we are, and savages we are. Take 
that," hitting him on the jaw. *^ Be Hivins and 
I'll not sail wit a heathen. Come on, me boys. 
Over wit him/' 

" Here, Riley," I said, " this must stop. Don't 
you know that you are in the presence of the 
dead? Every one has the privilege of believing 
what he wants to." 

" He has that, sir, but begorra^ he wants to 
keep it to himself." 

"Men," said I, "we will raise the plank. 
While we are doing it let us sing, ' Nearer, my 
God, to Thee.' " 

While we were singing the beautiful hymn, 
the old ship we loved so well seemed to feel this 
solemn occasion. Although held in irons by hav- 
ing her sails aback, she did salute to her former 
captain by some strange freak of the sea, coming 
up in the wind, and shaking her sails. 

Before we finished the singing the cook was 


leading in a rich tenor voice, and by the time that 
the last sound had died away, our Captain had 
slid off into the deep. 

* « « « 

" Let go your main jib to windward, haul in the 
fore-boom sheet." To the man at the wheel, 
" Let her go off to her course again.'' 


Astral Influence — The Cebw's Version of 

THE Unknown 

With these orders the crew, although silent 
and solemn, went about their various duties in 
their shiny and squeaky shoes, the only remain- 
ing sign of what had come to pass. 

I told the steward to throw all of the Cap- 
tain's clothing overboard. He protested, saying, 
" Surely, sir, you won't destroy his blankets? " 

" Oh, yes. Steward, there are enough germs in 
those blankets to destroy all of Coxey's Army." 

This mention of Coxey's Army was a mistake 
indeed. He changed at once from the compara- 
tive refinement that the hymn had wrought in 
him, to the fiery rage of the soap-box orator. 

"They were the men," he thundered, "who 
make life possible for you and me. Otherwise 
we should be ground in the mill of the lust and 
greed of capitalism." 

He started to lead off on the subject of equal 
distribution, when I interrupted; 



" Steward, this is no place to expound your 
theories of Socialism. You have done much 
harm since you came aboard this ship. Here," 
pointing to Swanson, who was slowly recover- 
ing from his battle for supremacy, "is a man 
who was led to believe from listening to your 
radical doctrines that work was not a necessary 
element in his life. Living in your world of 
thought, he gained the impression that refusing 
to work and disobeying orders was a perfectly 
natural thing to do. Now let me impress you 
with this thought — while you are aboard this 
ship with me, I'll not tolerate any more of your 
ill-advised teachings to the crew." 

Later, while he was throwing the Captain's 
bedding overboard, I could hear him say : 

". . . To the vile dust from whence they sprung, 
Unwept, unhonored and unsung." 

December 20th, 1898. Our position of ship at 
noon today was four miles north latitude, longi- 
tude 147° 19'' west. In looking over the chart I 
found that the course had been laid out by the 
Captain before his death. Although now sev- 
enty miles to the eastward of it, I decided with 


favorable winds to follow this line to the South 
Sea Isles. 

It was while doing this work that I fell to 
pondering my responsibilities to the owners, the 
crew and the consignees. We were carrying 
about five hundred thousand feet of select lum- 
ber to Suva, Fiji Islands. I had never visited 
these islands, but had read of their submerged 
reefs and tricky currents. • Up to this time I had 
taken my responsibilities negatively, being of the 
age when one is not taken seriously, and I must 
say being rather inclined to lean on those higher 
up. This latter is, I believe, very destructive to 
one's self-confidence and determination, those 
qualities so necessary in fitting one for leadership 
both by land and sea. 

In cleaning up the Captain's cabin I was deeply 
impressed with his remarkable sense of order. 
His best clothes were lashed to a partition to 
keep from chafing by the roll of the ship. The 
ash-tray was fastened to the floor across the room 
and opposite the bed, and there also stood to- 
bacco, matches, cigars and spittoon. When using 
these things he would have to get up and move 
clear across the room from his writing-desk or 


bed, which seemed out of place for a sailor-man. 

(Captains whom I sailed with usually disre- 
garded any and all sense of order, preferring not 
to interfere with the laws of gravity, particularly 
when chewing tobacco. But if these same white 
shirts happened to leave the hand of the sailor 
who washed them with any remnant of stain, 
His Majesty could be heard swearing all over the 
ship. ) 

For the past three days everything has been 
' going beautifully, with the wind free and fair. 
We are clipping it off at ten knots an hour. 

To-night I noticed that the man at the wheel 
acted rather queerly, and was not steering at all 
well. The men looked continually from left to 
right, acting as if they feared that some one was 
going to strike them. 

It was during the middle watch that I heard a 
conversation in the forecastle between Biley, Old 
Charlie and Broken-Nosed Pete. Charlie was 
trying to convince Pete by saying: 
. " You may not understand, but it is true, none 
the less. Look at me in the * Mud Puddler.' 

The suspense of this argument was evidently 
getting on Eiley's nerves. He interrupted with, 


" Damn it all, man, I tell you he is back on the 
ship. Haven't we all heard him prancing around 
in his room? Upon my sowl, I have felt him 
looking into the compass. Oh, be Hivins, me 
good man, you will see him soon enough." 

Here Old Charlie once more took the floor. 
"Biley," said he, "I believe that he has come 
back to warn us of some danger." 

"Divil a bit av danger we will be having." 
This with bravado. 

" You know he may have come back to find his 
knife. You remember when you sewed him up 
you found it in his bed." 

" Ah, go wan, you durty ape, didn't I throw it 
overboard with him?" 

" It may be he wants to talk with some one." 

"Be Hivins, shure I don't want to talk wit 
him. Why sure'n I don't know the man at all. 
I niver shpoke a wurd to him on this ship." 

" Well, it does seem that he is trying to man- 
ifest himself to you more than to any one on this 
ship. Why not ask him if you can help him 
in any way?" Evidently this conversation was 
getting too creepy for Riley for he changed the 
subject, declaring with great feeling that he had 


never seen a more beautiful nighty and so near 
Christmas too. 

But Charlie was not to be put oflE that way. 

" Riley/^ he said, *' can't you feel him around 
here at this moment? " 

" Ah, go wan, to Hell wit you, sure'n you will 
have him keepin' the lookout wit you the next 
we hear.'' 

I was so much interested in what I had hesird 
that I jumped up onto the forecastle head. I 
came upon them so suddenly that Biley jumped 
back exclaiming, " Hivinly Father, and what is 

He seemed greatly relieved when I spoke and 
said artfully : 

" Isn't this a beautiful night? See how large 
and bright those stars are there," pointing to 
the Southern Cross. '^You men seem to have 
some secret about this ship, — what is it? " I con- 
tinued, as my remark met with no response. 

Old Charlie cleared his throat, and, looking 
towards Riley as if for an approval, said sol- 
emnly : " Things are not as they should be aft." 

** What is it? Aren't you being treated well? 
Aren't you getting enough to eat?" 


" On, it isn't that at all, sir,'' broke in Eiley. 

"Hold on, Biley, let me explain," and Old 
Charlie once more cleared his throat. 

"As I was saying, we believe that the ghost 
of the Captain is back on board," tapping the 
deck with his foot. 

I felt that a word of encouragement was neces- 
sary if I expected to be let in on the mystery. 
"Well," said I, "that is nothing. Men who 
have been taken suddenly out, of this life may 
perhaps have left some important business unfin- 
ished, and the most natural thing in the world 
is for them to find some one whom they can con- 
verse with." 

" That's just what I was telling Riley, sir, that 
very same thing, and you know Riley seems to 
have more infiuence with him than any one so 

" Influence is it? " said Riley, " and shure, sir, 
he is a stranger intirely to me." 

" Tell me about it, Riley." 

"It's a damned strange thing, sir. Well, it 
was me watch from ten to twelve. I was just 
after striking six bells, when I takes a chew of 
me tobacco, and ses I to myself I had better be 


careful where I spit around here. I know, sir, 
you don't like tobacco juice on the paint-work. 
Beaching down to locate the spit-box to make 
sure that I could do it daycently, be me sowl, sur, 
something flipped by me. Shtraitening up, ses 
I to meself, ses I, ^ Be Hivins, and it must be the 
blood running to me head.' I took a look at the 
compass, and she was one point to windward of 
her course. You were forward, sir, taking a pull 
on the forestaysail-halyards, and I ses to meself , 
^ Sure an if he comes aft and catches me with 
her off her course he will flail me like he did the 
big Swede.' Ah, an shure it is the flne bye he is 
now. There's the Squarehead so rejuced he even 
offers to wash me tin plate for ine. Well, I 
got her back on her course, when all of a sud- 
den I heard the divil's own noise in the Captain's 
room. Ses I to myself, ses I, ^ Mike Eiley, don't 
be a damned fool and belave iverything you hear.' 
But look as I would I could not keep my eyes 
from the window of the Captain's room, whin lo 
and behold, I got a glimpse of his face looking out 
at me. ^ Hivenly Father,' ses I, * give me strenk 
and faith in yous to flnish me watch.' Glory be 
to God, sir, I lost me head, and it's hard up wit 


me helm I was doing, when you shouted, ' Where 
in Hell are you going with her?' Be Hivins, 
and I was going straight back with her." 

During this story Broken -Nosed Pete kept edg- 
ing closer, seemingly impressed, and about to 
become a convert to Riley's sincerity, while Old 
Charlie was just revelling in the details of the 
apparition, and at times, thinking that Riley 
was not doing justice to. his subject in creating 
the proper amount of enthusiasm, would inter- 
rupt by saying, " There you are now. Just as I 
was saying. One couldn't expect anything else," 
— and so forth. 

These remarks seemed to resolve any doubts 
that may have existed in Riley's mind of the 
genuineness of the face at the window. 



The Cook^s Watch — Matbsialibm Ybbsus 


I had the key to the Captain's room in my 
pocket and knew that no one was in there, bnt 
Biley's story had taken such a serious trend that 
I decided to withhold the news from them. 

**Well, Riley /^ I said carelessly, "you are 
easily frightened, when Toby can scare you like 

Here they all jumped toward me, and started 
to talk at once. Charlie, calling for order, 
decided that now was the time to fix me forever. 
He introduced Broken-Nosed Pete, who had 
always been inclined to be skeptical, to put the 
finishing touches on Riley's story. 

Pete, I may state, when he was rational, * was 
unaffected in his speech by the rather unusual 
list of his nose. But tonight, moved by power- 
ful feelings, he threw convention to the winds, 
and spoke in loud nasal tones, and with gestures 
befitting an orator. 



" Go on," said Charlie, pushing him forward, 
'^ tell him, Pete." 

" I had just called the watch below," he began, 
" and was taking my smoke and a bite of lunch^ 
By that time it was eight bells. I was pulling 
down my blankets about to turn in, when I sees 
Riley coming down the scuttle with his cap in 
his hand and very warm looking. * Is Toby in 
here? ' sfes Riley. ^ He is,' ses I. * He is over in 
Russian-Finn John's bunk.' *Holy Mother of 
God,' ses Riley, 'get me a drink of water, 'tis 
fainting I am.' ' What's wrong, Riley? ' I asks. 
* Oh, be Hivins,' ses he, ' I have made the mistake 
of me life by ever shipping on this dirty old 
graveyard.' As for the rest, sir, you have heard 
it from Riley." 

"Was Riley scared when he came into the 
forecastle?" I asked. 

"Yes, sir, he swore horribly, and threatened 
to kill anybody who put out the light." 

" Well, we will all have some fun catching this 
ghost of yours, I will give an extra day's leave 
in Suva to the man who helps me. What do you 
say to that, men?" Charlie volunteered will- 
ingly. Pete was rather shy. 


" Riley, let us hear from you." 

" What is it you want us to do, sir? " 

" I want each of you to take one hour watches 
in the Captain's room from twelve to four/' 
This was too much for Biley. 

" Be Hivins, sir, if ye offered me a year's leaf 
in a Turkish Harem to stay five minutes in the 
auld haunted room, I wouldn't take it, for bb 
sure as me name is Michael Dennis Biley he is 
rummaging around there." 

The news of the ghost soon spread over the 
ship, and formed the sole topic of conversation 
of the crew. Even the second mate, whom I 
thought immune, was going around the decks 
looking bewildered, as if anticipating the imme- 
diate destruction of ship and crew. 

The Socialist cook was much interested in our 
astral visitor, and I thought how happy it would 
make him to sail away on the wings of a new law 
that would revolutionize both physics and chem- 

"Yes," he said, "you can trust me to keep 
watch from twelve to two tonight in the Cap^ 
tain's room. I am very much pleased indeed 


to have the opportunity. I have for years been 
fighting the mechanical and cheap manifesta- 
tions of mediums and seers." He picked up his 
apron and wiped his mouth, to interrupt the line 
of march of tobacco juice which, having broken 
the barriers, was slowly wending its way down his 

" Let me tell you,^^ he said. " A material law 
gives us life. The same law takes it away. All 
material life," stamping the deck, "ends here. 
From the clay there is no redemption." 

At one o'clock in the morning the cook called 

"What do you want. Steward?" said I. 

"There is something in the Captain's room. 
Something I can't understand. When I am in 
the room with the light out, I am conscious of 
some one with me. And yet when I turn on the 
light that feeling leaves me. Then when I turn 
out the light and lock the door and sit here by 
the dining-table I would swear I could hear the 
sound of footsteps walking around, and the mov- 
ing of chairs. I tell you, sir, it is mighty 


" Are you sure that the sounds you heard were 
not made by the second mate walking on the 
deck above? " 

"No, sir, not at all. He agreed to stay for- 
ward on the deck-load till four bells." 

"How about the man at the wheel?" said I. 
" He could walk around on the steering platform 
and produce such sounds as you heard in the 
Captain's room." 

"Again you are mistaken. The man at the 
wheel is too scared to make any move but a nat- 
ural one, such as turning the wheel, and that 
movement produces no sound down here in fair 
weather like we are having." 

The cook was truly mystified. He was anx- 
ious for me to realize the importance of his inves- 
tigations in the Captain's room, yet with it all 
he held fa^t to his materialistic ideals. 

"Cook," said I, "you are taking this thing 
too seriously. I am certain that I have solved 
this mystery. Eiley is certain that it is not 
Toby, the cat. Now you come along and are 
ready to prove that the sounds or walking you 
have observed were not produced by a material 
power from the deck above." 


*^ I mean," replied he, " that this walking in 
^ere was not produced by any action of the sec- 
ond mate or the man at the wheel." 

I told him that nevertheless I had the mys- 
tery solved, and I would prove it to him. " We 
have in the lower hold one hundred thousand feet 
of kiln-dried spruce boards one-half inch thick, 
and twenty-six to thirty inches wide. They vary 
in length from eighteen to thirty-six feet. The 
after bulkhead does not run flush with the deck 
above, and there are ends of boards that project 
over and into the runway. With the easy move- 
ment of the ship, this will produce a metallic 
sound that will cause vibration at a distance, and 
more distinctly under the Captain's room." 

At this the cook became very indignant, and 
told me that my theory was not correct at 

" Haven't I spent a half hour in the lazarette 
looking and listening for just such sounds as you 
describe? " 

*^ Are you sure that there are no rats in his 

"If there are, I fail to find them. I have 
placed cheese around the room to convince 


myself. On examination of the cheese I couldn't 
find a tooth mark." 

" But why are there no sounds of walking in 
there now?" 

"That is what baffles me," said the cook. 
" Since we have been talking there has not been 
a sound from that room." 

I sent him to turn in, assuring him that I 
would sit in the room for an hour or so to see 
what would happen, and to try to solVe a mystery 
that was beginning to try even my seasoned 


Higher Intblmgbncb — A Visit From Out thb 


When the steward had gone forward to his 
bunky I got a lunch, and was about to sit down 
by the dining-table to eat it, when I saw the door 
of the Captain's room open wide. 

Then, to my utter amazement, I saw the chair 
that the dead Captain had sat In for years swing 
around upon its pivot ready to receive a visitor. 
I was so startled by the wonderful unseen force 
that I forgot my lunch and was starting to 
close the door in the hope of another uncanny 
experience, when I was halted by a cry from the 
deck above. 

"Hard to starboard, you damned fool. Are 
you trying to cut her in two amidship? " shouted 
the second mate. 

" Hard over she is," rang out from the man 
at the wheel. 

Instantly I was on deck. The second mate 



was over in the lee mizzen-rigging. " What is it, 
Olsen? '' I asked. 

"A full-rigged ship away two points on the 
starboard bow." 

To the man at the wheel I said : " Put your 
helm down and pass to windward of him before 
you jibe the spanker over, op you will knock Hell 
out of these old sails." Then to the second mate : 
" Why do you have to sail all over the ocean to 
get by that old pea-soup hulk? Don't you see 
that he has the wind free? LuflE her up half a 
point," I ordered the wheel-man. 

We passed so close to windward that we took 
the wind out of his lower sails. The moon was 
in the last quarter, and we could see plainly the 
watch on her deck, and hear the officer swear at 
the helmsman, saying: 

"Keep her off, you damned sheep-herder, or 
you will cut that mud-scow in two." Then he 
shouted over to me: "It is the captain of an 
Irish locomotive you ought to be, you thick- 
headed pirate, trying to run us down! What's 
the name of your ship, anyway? " 

"Hardship loaded with Poverty," I replied 
with sarcasm. 


As we passed each other the voice of the angry 
officer grew fainter and fainter, then was lost in 
the stiUy night under Southern skies. 

I was amused at the expression of the officer 
on board of the Yankee clipper, when he spoke 
of me as the captain of an Irish locomotive. 
There could be no greater insult to a self-respect- 
ing sailorman than this phrase. It means that 
you would do much better carrying a hod or 
wheeling a wheelbarrow than handling a ship. 
I had sailed in those down-east ships and knew 
their language. They never intend to give one 
inch on land or sea. Hard luck indeed for the 
sailor who does not know how to fight, or who 
shows a yellow streak ! 

While thus meditating on the cruelties of the 
old oak ships and thinking what wonderful tales 
they could tell, my thoughts were suddenly inter- 
rupted by a consciousness of fear. Something 
warm was moving about my feet. On looking 
down I beheld Toby rubbing his black fur against 
my feet and legs. . . . 

On getting my position of ship at noon today, 
I noticed the crew tiptoeing around as if they 
were afraid of disturbing some sleeping baby. 


I spoke to Biley^ asking what all the hush was 

" Oh, be the Lord, sir, it is getting tumble on 
this auld graveyard of a ship. Begorra, we are 
shupe av it now. Auld Charlie seen him pranc- 
ing up and down the poop deck wid a poipe in his 
mouth. 'Tis turrible days we be having. The 
cook said that he proved it himsfelf beyond a 
question of a doubt that the old bye himself is 
back on her.^^ 

"Well, Kiley, I am going to make the Old 
Man show down tonight. It is put up or shut 
up for him.'' Laughing a little at my own fan- 
cies, I went aft to the Captain's room, and sat 
down to watch, to continue to investigate this 
mystery that was so upsetting the morals of the 
crew as to endanger their efficiency. 

I left the door to the dining-room half open 
so that the light hung from the center of the 
ceiling threw its sickly rays into the room. I 
could hear the man at the wheel make an occa- 
sional move with his feet. Then all would be 
still again. One bell rang, — half -past twelve. 

Suddenly the door slammed with a terrible 


bang. I knew that there was no draught in the 
Captain's room to close it in this manner, and I 
must confess that I was considerably startled. 
Then I was conscious of some one moving a small 
stool that stood across from me, over towards 
the safe at the foot of the bed. I put out my 
hands to catch the visitor, and not finding any- 
thing but air, I reached out and pulled the door 

To my amazement, the stool had been moved 
to the safe. I was so unnerved by this that my 
one thought was to get away, and I went into 
the dining-room, and unconsciously lit my pipe. 
When my thoughts sorted themselves it became 
clear to me that I had been singled out by Des- 
tiny to have the privilege of meeting a great and 
new and unseen Force, If this were so great 
as to be able to move furniture at will, why, 
thought I, could it not be harnessed to our mate- 
rial uses? Why could it not be developed to get 
sails and discharge cargoes? Surely, it would 
revolutionize the forces of the air and earth, as 
we know them now. 

While these thoughts were taking shape in my 


mindy I wajs brought up with a start by hearing 
three load and distinct raps on the door of the 
Captain's room. 

I shook the ashes out of the old corn cob pipe, 
and entered the room, closing the door behind 
me. This time I beheld still greater marvels. 
At the head of the Captain's bed appeared a 
small light, giving forth no rays, but moving 
around in the direction of the safe at the foot 
of the bunk. There it stopped about a minute, 
then moved over to the desk and gradually dis- 

" Ah," said I, " you are getting too much for 
me. Move some more furniture or that safe 
around this room so that I may alight upon a 
plan to harness your great power to hand down 
to future ages." 

At that I must have gone to sleep, for I was 
conscious of nothing more until I heard the cook 
coming aft with coffee. He was anxious to hear 
my experience during the middle watch. I told 
him that there had been no occurrence that was 
not natural, but that I might have news for him 

"Steward," said I, "tomorrow is Christmas 


Day. I want you to prepare a good dinner for 
all hands." 

" Oh, yes," he replied, " I have had plum pud- 
ding boiling since yesterday. I am going to 
open a few cans of canned turkey. That, with 
the cove oyster soup and canned carrots will 
make a good dinner. I have had a little hard 
luck with my cake. I forgot to put baking 
powder in it. But I think that they cto get 
away with it, as there is an abundance qt raisins 
in it." 

Christmas morning at half-past twelve found 
me waiting in the Captain's room listening to 
rappings on the desk. At times these were loud 
and then again very weak. I opened the door 
and turned up the light in the dining-room so 
that there might be more brightness in the Cap- 
tain's room. I wanted to see and hear whatever 
vibrations might be caused from the rappings. 
As I drew near the writing desk the rapping was 
centered on the middle drawer. Then it would 
move to a smaller drawer on the right-hand side 
and tap very hard. With a shout of joy I sprang 
to the light at the head of the bed, and lit it. 

" At last," I cried, " at last! " 


I WBB gatisfled that there were rats in these 
drawers^ and in order that they shonld not get 
away I armed myself with a club. I started to 
pull out the smaller drawer very carefully so 
that the rodent should not make his escape. To 
my astonishment I found it locked. I held my 
ear close to it, but could not hear a sound. Then 
I proceeded to open the middle drawer with the 
same caution, but found it open, and nothing in 
it but a small bunch of keys. My curiosity being 
aroused, I decided to look for the key on this 
ring that would open the smaller drawer. After 
many trials I found one that would fit the lock 
and on opening it I found, neither the animal, 
which in spite of my senses' evidence I half 
expected to see there, nor any other expected 
alternative, but, most surprising of all, a pair of 
tiny baby-shoes with a lock of yellow hair, tied 
with pink ribbon, in each of them. 

Hack of the shoes was a jewel box, and in it a 
wedding-ring. Also, wrapped up in paper, was 
a will made by our late Captain two days before 
his death. This stated that he had an equity in 
lin apartment house in San Francisco, which he 


wanted his boys to have. Evidently he had 
acquired this equity during his last visit to San 
Francisco. It also stated that there should be 
no delay in forwarding this will to the above 
address in West Berkeley, California, U. S. A. 

With the discovery of the Captain's treasures, 
this essence of his personality so revealed, I was 
carried out of my skepticism for the moment, 
into feeling his presence beside me, waiting for 
my word as a friend awaits the voice of a friend. 
Half unconsciously I spoke aloud: "You have 
shown me, and I shall obey. You have only to 
call upon me. Do not be anxious for your ship. 
I will tell your boys." 

"A lonely, lonely Christmas," echoed back 
vaguely, whether from Beyond or from the store- 
house of my imagination, I do not know. 

As I replaced his things and started for the 
deck, the cook's words echoed and re-echoed in 
my memory, " Does it end here?*" 

On deck Old Charlie was steering. Looking 
over the rail at the log, I found that she was cut- 
ting the distance to Suva at the rate of nine 
knots an hour. The breeze was warm, the tur- 


quoise sky studded with diamond stars ; the three 
especially bright ones known as the Sailors' Yard 
were shining in all their splendor. 

Away to the south the Southern Cross twinkled 
and glittered, and was so majestic in its posi- 
tion, that it seemed to command obedience from 
all other celestial bodies. 


Christmas Day — Oub Unwilling Guest the 


While gazing into the Infinite, analyzing the 
experience through which I had just passed, and 
wondering where lay the Land of Shadows, my 
dreaming was suddenly changed to material 
things by hearing a terrible fight in the fore part 
of the ship. Jumping up on the deck-load, and 
running forward, I could hear Kiley shout: 

"Club him, you old hen-catcher, you, before 
he goes through the hawsepipe. That's the way, 
that's the way. Shure, bad luck to you, you 
have missed him. Stand back there, stand back 
there, let me have at him. There he goes again 
under the lumber. Get me the bar, Pete. Look 
out, me byes. Shure and be Hivins out he comes 
again. Strike him between the eyes, Pete. Give 
me the bar, Pete. Shure'n you couldn't shtrike 
the sheep barn you was raised in." 

" What's all this row about? " I asked. 



'^Ah, shure, sir, it's me auld friend Neptune 
would be after sendin' us a Christmas present. 
He is as fine a bonita as iver greased a mouth, 
but it's the divil's own toime we have had sub- 
duin' him." 

"Bring him up on the deck-load and let us 
look him over." 

" Riley," said I, when they had the great fish 
stretched out before us, " that is a dolphin, and 
no bonita, — notice the wedge-shaped head, and 
broad tail. No doubt he was cornered by a 
school of sword fish, and this fastest fish that 
swims the ocean had to make a leap for life by 
jumping aboard our ship. Bring the lantern 
here, and you will see him change to all colors 
of the rainbow while he is dying, another proof 
that he is a dolphin, that is, if he is not already 

" Be Hivins, and it's far from dead he is, look 
at the gills moving." Surely enough, we watched 
and the beautiful colors came, brilliant blue and 
green and shaded red, and again I wondered, 
and it seemed to me that in the passing of the 
human life there might be just such a color 
change, invisible to those who are left behind. 


Dismissing these thoughts once and for all 
from my mind, I entered into the long discussion 
incident to the settlement of claims on the dead 
dolphin, as to who had discovered him, etc., etc. 
Broken-Nosed Pete was sure that he had seen 
him first, very much to the disgust of Riley, who, 
however, could not deny that his one eye was 
usually cocked to windward. 

I then turned to the men and told them that 
they need no longer be afraid of the ghost in the 
Captain's cabin. 

Riley spoke up : " And, shure, sir, you wasn't 
thinking that it was meself that was scared? " 

^^ Why do you carry the belaying-pin aft to the 
wheel with you, if you are not scared?" said 

" Go wan, you broken-nosed heathen, it's the 
likes of me that knows the likes av you. You 
degraded auld beach-comber, haven't I slept in 
ivery graveyard from Heath Head in Ireland to 
Sline Head in Gal way? Divil a thing did I see 
only Mugglin's goat." 

Riley was about to launch away with Mulli- 
gan's goat when I interrupted, reassuring them 
and telling them that there was no need of carry- 

• • 


ing belaying-pins to kill the ghost, for it had 
departed for shores unknown. 

" Good luck to it/' said Riley, highly pleased, 
"and more power to it. And shure it is sinsi- 
ble it is to lave on this howly Christmas morn- 
ing. I remimber one time on an auld side- wheeler 
running between Dublin and London, it was 
twelve o'clock — " 

Eiley's story was cut short by the man at the 
wheel ringing eight bells, four o'clock. Pete 
went off to clean the fish, and the others to their 
watch below, while I turned in, leaving Riley 
alone with his side-wheeler. 

The sentiment of Christmas amongst sailors 
on the sea makes it a day of strict observances. 
No work is done outside the working of ship^ 
which is steering or keeping lookout. There is 
no mat-making, model-making nor patching old 
clothes in their watch below. They dress in 
their best clothes, and for those that shave a 
great deal of time is spent in this operation. No 
stray bristle has a chance to escape the religious 
hand of a sailor on a day like this. 

It is also a day of letter-writing, with good 
intentions of forwarding them at the first port, 


but somehow in the general confusion when in 
port, they are lost in a whirlpool of excitement. 
^Considering a sign between the ship and the 
post office reading " Bass' Ale/' " Black and 
White '' or " Guinness's Stout/' imagine any poor 
sailor doing his duty to the folks at home ! For 
the moment those glaring and fascinating signs 
are home to him. 

But today is too full of sentiment for him to 
think of alluring public houses and pretty bar- 
maids. It is given up to religious thoughts with 
a firm resolution to sin no more. 

The spirit of the day had even taken hold of 
the Socialist cook. In serving dinner I noticed 
that he had on a clean apron and a white jacket, 
a great concession for him. I was much 
attracted by his brogans, which were much too 
large, and had a fine coating of stove polish to 
enhance their charm. 

" Why have you set a place for the Captain, 
Steward? " said I. 

" Oh, just out of respect for him. You know 
he wasn't such a bad man after all. Beside, it 
will make the table look more like a real Christ- 
mas dinner. You can just suppose that your 


invited guest has been delayed^ and you can go 
on with your dinner.'^ 

I was beginning to like our cook more and 
more. It seemed that beneath the hard crust of 
materialism, there was something very like love 
and loyalty. 

The German noodle soup, the canned turkey, 
and the plum pudding to top off with was a very 
, befitting dinner at sea. Of course, one must 
not indulge too freely in plum pudding, espe- 
cially when its specific gravity exceeds that of 
heavy metals. This hypothesis was proven to 
me later in the day. 


Cmmp and Sailor — The Cook^s Marxian 


The cook was pleased with my investigation 
of the Captain's room. " Don't you know," said 
he, "I was impressed with the unusual sounds 
there? I was beginning to relinquish my hold 
on the Material, and to give way more to the 
unknown and unseen things of life. But you 
can see that we are all creatures of imagination. 
There are no limitations to it, especially with 
those who are superstitious. Now I can plainly 
understand how such sounds could be produced 
by rats, just as you say." 

He took his stand in the pantry, and continued, 
from this point of vantage. " It is a shame," he 
shouted, that there is so much superstition in the 
world. If there were not so much, the capitalist 
would not have the opportunity to exploit his 
ill-gotten goods on the highways and byways of 
our economic system." 



Stirring something in a glass^ no doubt extract 
of lemon, he tipped it to his lips and swallowed 
it with a grunt of satisfaction. 

" With such ignorance in the world," he said, 
" how are we to combat this scourge of human- 
ity? Let me say here,'' shaking his fist at me, 
*' the (Mily solution is education without discrim- 
ination. With this useful weapon we can equal- 
ize the scales of justice. Without it we continue 
to be slaves to the old and new masters. Take, 
for instance, the ignorance and superstition of 
our crew forward. While they are hunting for 
ghosts the parasites are picking their pockets. 
What can society expect of them? No wonder 
they are a prey to apparitions at sea and crimps 
ashore. Once we were homeward bound from 
New Zealand to Frisco. The crew, as usual, con- 
sisted of many nationalities. She carried twenty- 
four seamen forward. I frequently talked to 
these men evenings about joining the Socialist 
Labor Party, much to the disgust of the Captain. 
Well, they all agreed that when they should reach 
San Francisco they would join the organization. 
I believe that they really intended to, but you 
know the sailorman ashore scents the rum barrel. 


and becomes an easy prey to the crimp and 
boarding-house runner. Two days after our 
arrival in that wicked city we were paid off by 
the U. S. Government. I waited until the last 
man had his money. ^ Men,' said I, ^ come with 
me to our hall and join the one organization that 
is going to redeem the world.' 

"The crimp runners were pretty well repre- 
sented, as they usually are when a ship pays off. 
They tried every possible means to entice the men 
away, telling them that they would not have to 
pay for room or board, and that furthermore 
they could pick their own ship when they felt 
like going to sea again. The latter is considered 
a great concession to a sailor. But the crimps 
do not stop there. They have old sailors who 
are kept with them for years, who make it their 
business to know as many as possible of the men 
who follow the sea. We had an Irishman in the 
crew, and this lost the day for me. Just as we 
started for the hall, out of the crowd strolled 
a seasoned veteran of the sea. With a shout of 
joy he fell upon one of our crew, crying : 

"^If me eyes don't deceive me, I see Jamey 
Dugan. Dead or alive, I shake hands with you.' 


"Whether Dugan knew the greasy beach- 
comber or not, I knew that the bunko steering 
talk would get him. It was very flowery. 

" < Why, certainly, you remember me. In Val- 
paraiso. You were in the good old ship so-and- 

" I could see that there was no time to lose if 
I expected to reach the hall with all of them. 
I mounted a fire-hydrant near by, and pleaded 
with them, telling them that this crook who had 
hold of them was nothing but a hireling of the 
crimp, and tomorrow, all of their money being 
spent, they would most likely be shipped off to 
sea in any old tub whose master offered the most 
money to the boarding-house keeper. 

" My pleading was in vain. They kept edging 
away as if I were a wild beast of the jungle. 
The influence of the gangster was getting 
stronger. Again I beseeched and implored these 
men of the sea to come with me. They only 
started to move away. It was with a sickened 
heart that I stepped down from the hydrant. I 
had no chance with this barnacle of the sea, for 
they were already starting in his wake for Ryan's 
saloon across the street." 


The cook, lamenting his loss, started to stir up 
another lemon-de-luxe. Taking advantage of 
the opportunity, I stole up on deck to relieve the 
second mate for dinner. He must have thought 
that I had foundered on the noodle soup and 

The cook and I may not altogether have agreed 
on the social things of life, but I was with him 
heart and soul in his fight for better and cleaner 
conditions for sailors ashore. I, too, know the 
crimps, and had suffered more than once from 
their dastardly methods of making money. 

They were always on the lookout for anything 
that resembled a sailor when a ship was ready 
to sail, and a short-handed captain would offer 
one of them fifty or a hundred dollars a head 
blood-money. With that would go from one to 
two months' advance in wages to the unfortunate 
victim, which eventually fell into the crimp's 
hands also. He would not stop even at murder 
if necessary to fill the required quota. 

What if he did ship a dead man or two? 
They were not supposed to awake for at least 
twenty-four hours after they were brought 
aboard. By that time they were under way, and 


the curses of the captain were lost in sheeting 
home the upper topsails. 

The mate^ on the other hand, took a lively 
interest in restoring the sleeper to life. After 
he had spent some time clubbing him, and try- 
ing every method known to the hard-boiled mates 
of former times, he would find a belaying-pin, 
and beat the drugged man on the soles of his 
shoes. This was the final test. If he did not 
respond to it, the officer would report to the 
captain that one of the crew who had just come 
aboard was dead. Cursing and swearing, the 
captain would say : " How do you know that he 
IB dead?" 

" Well, Captain, I have awakened a great many 
of them in my time, and there isn't a kick in this 

" Did you try the mirror? " 

Holding the mirror at his mouth, to see 
whether by chance there might be precipitation 
was the last act. It would never occur to them 
to feel for the pulse, probably because their hands 
were too heavily calloused to permit of it. Fur- 
thermore, it would never do to lower the mate's 


dignity in the presence of the crew by so gracious 
an act. 

" No, sir, I have not tried the mirror yet. I 
am thinking that you have booked a losing." 

"Booked Hell," the captain would shout, 
" Here, take this drink of brandy and pour it 
into him, then hold the mirror over his mouth. 
If that doesn't work, throw him overboard." 

Those who were shanghaied were not usually 
sailors. One would find tailors, sheep-herders, 
waiters and riflf-raflf of the slums, who had fallen 
prey to the greed of the boarding-house keeper. 

When one did respond to the mate's treatment, 
he would awake to a living Hell, until the next 
port was reached, which would take three, four 
or even five months. 


The Montana Cowboy — A Hobsb-Marinb 


There are instances where the Captain and 
mates of the old time sailing ships have had 
cause to regret their methods of procuring sailors 
from the crimps. 

When a drugged and shanghaied sailor comes 
on board the mate looks him over for dangerous 

If he has a sheath knife the mate breaks the 
point oflE. If a gun, he takes it aft to the Cap- 
tain. When the drug-crazed man comes to he is 
easy to handle. If he should ^how fight, a crack 
over the head with a belaying-pin will send him 
down and out. When the stars disappear and 
he comes back to earth again, he is very respon- 
sive, and willing to scrub decks or anything else 
that is desired of him. 

A Montana cowboy, seeing the sights in a 
Pacific port, fell a prey to the crimps. Blood 




money was high. One hundred and fifty dollars 
was not to be laughed at, when it could be had 
so easily. The cowboy was given the usual dose 
of knock-out drops, then thrown into a boat, and 
rowed off to the ship, which was lying at anchor. 
When the boat came alongside the ship, the 
crimp shouted : " Ahoy, Mr. Mate, I have a good 
sailor for you." 

The mate never expected shanghaied men to 
walk up the gangway. He knew what to expect, 
and usually gave them the allotted time, about 
twenty-four hours, to sleep the drug off. 

" Are you sure he is a good sailor? " said the 

" Oh, yes," replied the crimp, " he is an old- 
time sailor, we have known him for years. He 
has been sailing to this port in some of the best 
ships afloat." 

The mate called some members of the crew 
to get the tackle over the side and yank him 
aboard. The cowboy was heavy, and he did not 
yank aboard as easily as some of the other 
drugged men, very much to the astonishment of 
the old-time sailors. 

They know by the weight on the tackle fall how 


to guess what the vocation ashore has been 
of this latest addition to their number. If the 
drugged man is a light-weight, he is proclaimed 
a tailor, if medium weight he is a sheep-herder, 
and so on. 

But they could not find a suitable vocation for 
this cowboy who was so damned heavy. After 
long, long pulls, and strong, strong pulls, he 
landed on deck as limp as a rag. The mate 
rolled him over with his foot, and seeing that he 
had no weapons of any kind ordered him thrown 
on the hatch to sleep it off. 

The crimp had relieved him of the cowboy 
hat, but not the riding shoes, very much to the 
disgust of the mate, who remarked: * 

"I have sailed in many ships and with all 
kinds of sailors, but I will go to Hell if I ever 
saw a sailor with as long heels on his boots as 
this fellow has.^' 

Nevertheless he impressed the mate as being a 
sailor. He had the desert and mountain rugged- 
ness and complexion, and not the sallow dyspep- 
tic look of the tailor, which mates and crew 
despise so. When the anchor was up, and they 


were standing out to sea, the mat^ undertook to 
awake the cowboy with a force pump. 

After the salt water had been played on him 
about five minutes, he awoke, and realized that 
he was on board of a ship. He inquired of the 
mate how he got aboard, and where he was going. 
The mate answered him very sharply, saying: 

" You get up, damn quick, and loose the main- 
upper-topgallant-sail if you want to get along 
well and happy in this ship." 

He might have been talking the dead languages 
for all the cowboy knew about upper-topgallant- 
sails. He rubbed his eyes, and pulling himself 
together realized that this was not a dream after 
all, but a stem reality. After looking over the 
ship and feeling the roll, he eyed the mate with 
suspicion, saying: "See here, stranger, haven't 
you made a mistake? Tell me how I came 
aboard this here ship." 

The mate thought the new sailor was having a 
joke at his expense. Stepping up to him he said, 
" Damn you, don't you dare to joke with me, or 
I will break every bone in your body." 

" Let me tell you, stranger," said the cowboy, 


"I want you to turn this here thing around 
'cause I must be a hitting the trail.'' 

This was too much for any good mate to stand, 
especially when the members of the crew were 
highly pleased with the new sailor's remark. 
The mate pulled off his pea-jacket, and tighten- 
ing his belt, remarked : 

" I guess I will teach you how to respect your 
superiors while you are on board this ship." 

The cowboy, seeing that the mate meant busi- 
ness, pulled oflf his wet coat and vest, also the 
black silk handkerchief that was tied in a very 
fashionable knot around his neck and remarked, 
/' Stranger, you be mighty keerful how many 
bones you break in my body." 

Here the mate made a lunge for him, which the 
boy ducked, and with an upper-cut he sent the 
mate to the deck in a heap. The mate got up 
and started for a belaying pin. The crafty 
range rider was upon him in a second with a 
left hook to the jaw. The mate went down, and 
stayed down for some time. Then the second 
mate, third mate and captain came to the rescue 
of their first mate. The mates were knocked 
down as fast as they could get up. The Captain 


called the crew saying, ^^ Arrest this man and 
put him in irons for mutiny on the high seas.'^ 

This the crew refused to do, because the way 
this new sailor could use his hands was not at all 
to their liking, and they were not anxious to take 
on any rough stuff so early on the voyage. 

The Captain, flushed with rage, ran to the 
cabin shouting: 

" I will get my gun and kill this mutineer/^ 
The mates picked themselves up and the two 
went after guns. The cowboy, turning to the 
sailors, said : ^ 

" Here, you critters, get behind a sage bush or 
something, — get out of range and get • out 
damned quick, for there is going to be Hell shot 
out of this here ship in about a minute.'^ Reach- 
ing down in his riding boots he pulled out two 
forty-fives and backed over to the starboard bul- 
warks to await the signal from the cabin. 

He did not have to wait long. The Captain 
came roaring 'up the companion way, thinking 
that the new sailor at the sight of the gun would 
run and get under cover. But not so with this 
one, far from it. There he stood, a plain and 
visible target for the Captain's and mate's guns. 


While the Captain was running along the lee 
alleyway of the bridge-deck, the cowboy called 
to him, saying : 

" Can you kill from the hip. Mister? If you 
can't you'd better get close and shoot straight/' 

The Captain was too angry to utter a sound. 
It was bad enough to knock his three mates down 
and out, without heaping insult upon insult by 
asking if he could shoot straight. The blow he 
had got on the jaw from this untamed sailor he 
considered enough to justify him in killing on 
sight anyway, for it would be days before he 
could bring his jaws together on anything harder 
than pea soup or bread pudding. 

With these maddening thoughts twitching his 
nautical brow, he swung from the bridge-deck 
onto the main deck. There in front of him stood 
the new mariner leaning against the bulwarks 
with his hands behind his back. The Captain's 
gun was swinging at arm's length in the right 
hand, but not pointed toward the cowboy. 

This code of ethics pleased the cowboy, for he 
remarked to the Captain : " Remember you draw 
first, and if you have any message for the folks at 
home now is the time to send it." 


Hearing the mates coming^ the Captain took 
courage, and raised his gun as if to shoot, when 
a shot rang out and his right arm fell limply to 
his side. With a spring of a wild animal the 
cowboy changed for a new position. He jumped 
onto the main hatch, where he could command 
a view of the ship fore and aft. No sooner had 
he changed to his new position, than the mates 
appeared on the main deck and ordered him in 
the King's name to surrender or take the con- 

"I don't know anything about your kings,'' 
remarked the cowboy, " but I do know I'm going 
back to my ole horse and I'm going mighty 
quick. Let me tell you, strangers, I want you 
to turn this here ship back. I'll give you five 
minutes to make up your minds." 

The Captain broke the silence by ordering the 
ship back to port, saying, to save his dignity, 
that he could never go to sea wounded as he was, 
and was also anxious to bring this sailor to the 
bar of justice for mutiny and attempted murder 
on the high seas. 

" Before you obey the orders of your boss 
here," said the cowboy, addressing the crew, " I 


want your guns. You know it is dangerous for 
children like you to be handling something you 
don't know much about/' 

Evidently the Captain was in great pain, for 
he commanded the mates to give up their weap- 
ons, which they did very reluctantly after the 
ship had tacked and stood in for port again. To 
make matters worse, the cowboy walked the 
weather side of the bridge-deck, and practically 
commanded the ship until she dropped anchor. 

Then the poliqe boat came off and took captain, 
mates and cowboy ashore to the hall of justice, 
where the new sailor put a kink in the crimp, 
sending him for five years to the penitentiary for 
drugging and shanghaing him. He also caused 
the Captain and first mate to exchange their 
comfortable quarters aboard ship for uneasy cells 
in jail; six months for the mate and a year for 
the Captain. ... 

The old Hell Ships have passed away into the 
murky horizon, to be seen no more, and With 
them have gone the old sailors, some to the Land 
of Shadow, others to pass their remaining years 
working ashore, and many to that most coveted 


place on earth, Snug Harbor. A new age has 
dawned upon the mariner of today. He sails 
on ocean greyhounds, where there are no yards 
to square, no topsails, no tiller ropes to steer 
with. He doesn't have to sail four years before 
the mast to leam how to become a sailor. Steam, 
the simplified, has made it pleasant and easy for 
him. He no longer requires the tin plate and 
hook pot, nor has he any place for the donkey's 
breakfast. (The latter used to be supplied by 
the crimp and consisted of a handful of straw 
tucked into a cheap bed tick ; that was the sailor's 
bed in the old days. ) 

Today he is supplied with everything neces- 
sary for his comfort, even to five hundred cubic 
feet of air space, and food as good as he was likely 
to get ashore. 

The cracker or hardtack hash was an art years 
ago, and required the skill of a French chef. It 
is even possible that the French chef would not 
have scorned what the old sailor discarded in 
making this sumptuous repast. The first proc- 
ess of this delicious dish was to economize for 
days to save enough hardtack. Secondly, it was 
necessary for it to soak at least forty-eight hours. 


By that time you were sure that all living crea- 
tures had forsaken their pleasant abode for a 
breath of fresh air or a swim around the hook pot. 

When you were satisfied] that the hardtack 
was malleable, you would mix in what salt horse 
you could spare without stinting yourself too 
much, and anything else that happened to be 
around. Then came the supreme task, getting a 
concession from the cook to bake it. It required 
much study as to how to approach the " Doctor," 
for this was his title in important functions. 
Should he be so generous with you as to grant 
an interview for this noble concession, you were 
to be complimented, and considered in line for 
promotion to the black pan. It is only a brother 
in death that could share the remnants from the 
Captain's table. Hence the black pan. 

The sailor of today no longer need covet the 
crumbs from the captain's table, he is fed k la 
carte and waited on by uniformed waiters ; even 
his salary is more than captains received twenty 
to thirty years ago in sailing ships. 


The Fragrant Smell of the Alluring Palms 

Away to the westward the sun was sinking 
into the deep, with small fleecy clouds guarding 
the last bright quivering rays as if giving a sig- 
nal to make ready for the lovely night. So 
Christmas had come and departed with the set- 
ting of the sun. 

I was thinking of him who had also departed 
so suddenly to the land of eternal rays, and won- 
dered if the great Nazarene should not have said, 
" Peace to those who have passed away, and good 
will to those whom they have left behind.'^ 

For the next ten days the wind held steady, 
and one could see from the restlessness of the 
crew, particularly Dago Joe, that we were near- 
ing land. I had sent a man aloft to see if he 
could pick up Wallingallala Light. I was sure 
that if our chronometer was right we should 
pick it up about two o'clock in the morning. I 



decided to sail through Namuka Passage, thereby 
cutting off the distance to Suva about three 
hundred and fifty miles. Otherwise it would be 
necessary to sail to the southward of the Archi- 
pelago, and the danger of the latter course was 
the southeast trades, which usually die out twenty 
degrees south of the Equator. 

As Suva lay 18° 22', I was sure I could hold 
the wind through the Passage, if I could keep 
away from the uncharted coral reefs which 
are so dangerous to navigation among those 
islands. At half-past three in the morning 
Broken-Nosed Pete sang out from the foretop, 
" A light on the port bow." I took the binocu- 
lars and ran up the mizzen-rigging. There was 
the long-looked-f or light. 

I changed the course after getting bearings on 
the light, and headed her for Namuka Passage. 
After entering the Passage it was necessary to 
change our course from time to time, and this 
had to be done by log and chart, in order to avoid 
the projecting reefs which jutted out from the 
island. Many of these reefs extend from three 
to five miles from each island. The navigator 
never loses his position of ship, and great care 


must be taken in making allowances for cur- 

About six o'clock we were well into the Pas- 
sage and abreast of Boscowen Island, better 
known as Cap Island. Away to the southwest 
lay Vite Vuva, which was the island we were 
bound for. The wind was freshening, and when 
passing an island great gusts of wind would 
swoop on us, which made it necessary to take in 
our staysails. 

The fragrant smell of the alluring palms was 
beginning to fascinate the crew, with the excep- 
tion of Riley, who wore a rather troubled look. 
When I asked him if he was sick he replied in 
the negative, " Sick would you have me? Shur'n 
the divil a bit is it sick I am. Auld Charlie has 
been telling me it's cannibals there are on these 
islands, but shure I don't belave a wurd that old 
Wharf rat says." 

" Well, Riley," said I, " Charlie may be right. 
No doubt somewhere in these islands there may 
lurk a few sturdy savages who wouldn't hesitate 
a moment to recommend that a man like you be 
cooked and served table d'hdte at one of their 
moonlight festivals. They much prefer the white 


meat to the dark, and you will admit there are 
some choice pieces in you." 

" There are, me bye, but I'll be keeping meself 
intact and the divil a man-eater will iver lay a 
tooth in me, if Michael Dennis Riley knows any- 

" Stay close to the ship,'' said I, " and don't 
wander too far afield and I doubt if there is much 
danger, as long as you keep sober and have your 
eye peeled to windward." 

" Be Hiven, sor, and that is what I will be 
doing. As for keeping sober, shure and that is 
aisy for me. It is only on rare occasions that 
I ever take a drop of the crayture. Begorra, and 
it's the pledge I'll be taking while I'm amongst 
these heathen." 

The speed we were making did not encourage 
me in the least. We were logging eleven knots, 
and if she kept this up we would be oflE Suva 
Harbor about two-thirty in the morning; then 
it would be necessary to lie off Suva till the pilot 
came aboard some time during the forenoon. 
The chart showed it was about seven miles from 
the entrance of the channel between the coral 
reefs to the harbor. As there were no tug-boats 


here, I figured that by the time the pilot rowed 
off to where I should be in the offing, it would 
indeed be late in the morning. But I was much 
worried at having to spend a night dodging these 
dangerous reefs which were not even marked by 
a bell-buoy. 

Towards evening, while passing between two 
islands^ the wind fell very light. The channel 
was narrow, and it looked for a time as if we 
were in danger of drifting onto the south reef 
of Vite Vuva Island. What little breeze there 
was carried to our ears the enchanting voices of 
the natives singing their island songs. The cook 
was coaxing Toby to indulge in age-old brisket, 
but without success, and turning to me he said, 
" What a pity it is that our world isn't full of 
song and laughter like that of these happy 
natives. Their day of toil is over, and with it 
comes the song of happiness. There are no land- 
lords here to dispossess you, no licensed thugs 
hired by crooked corporations to club you while 
you are working for the interest of the down- 
trodden. I tell you that some day the world will 
be just such a place to live in as these isles, no 
worries, no troubles and damned little work.^^ 


Suva Habbob — The Reef and the 


As we nosed by the reef, and got the island 
on our beam, the wind came to our rescue, and 
with staysails set I laid a course for Suva Har- 
bor. At one o'clock we picked up Suva lights, 
the two lighthouses which marked the entrance 
to the harbor. One light is about on sea level, 
the other has an altitude of some two hundred 
feet, being back and up the hill and in direct line 
with the first. When these two lights bear due 
north you have the channel course into Suva 

When I had these lights in range I decided to 
run in and take a chance, rather than stay out 
and wait for the pilot. Another reason why I 
was anxious to get in ^as that the barometer 
was falling and it looked like rain, This being 
the hurribane season, I was not at all pleased 



with the mackerel skies of the early morning. 
The channel is very narrow between the reefs, 
and great care must be taken in steering one's 

After jibing her over and pointing her into 
the channel, I had Broken-Nosed Pete take the 
wheel, with instructions that if he got off the 
course his neck would be twisted at right angles 
to his nose. Pete was a good helmsman, and 
could be trusted in close quarters like those we 
were about to sail through. 

Until we passed into the harbor my interest in 
the schooner " Wampa '' could be had for a song. 
With waves breaking on either side of us as we 
were passing through, and .expecting every 
moment to strike the reef, moments seemed like 
centuries, and not to me alone. The only sound 
that came from the crew was from Riley, and he 
did not intend it for my ears. 

The noise of the breakers to windward was 
not so bad for Riley and his one eye, but to 
have it repeated on his blind side was asking top 
much of an honest sailor. He shouted to Old 
Charlie, "Glory be to God, Charlie, and it's 
drowned we will be in sight of land. In the 



name of the Father, what made him attempt it 
on a night like this? Look, look, Holy Saint 
Patrick, look at the breakers. Ah, and it's high 
and dry well be. Bad luck to the day I ever 
set foot on this auld barge! She isn't fit for a 
dog to sail in/' 

The harbor end of the reef was marked by a 
light on a small cutter, which was so dim that 
one would almost have to have a light to find 
it. After rounding this insignificant light we 
had deep water and a large harbor. 

Just as day was breaking we dropped anchor, 
after an eventful voyage of fifty-four days from 
Puget Sound. At eight o'clock an East Indian 
doctor came on board, and lining the crew up 
for inspection, required every man to put out 
his tongue. From the looks of the above-men- 
tioned he seemed pleased with the health of the 
crew. He left, after looking over the ofScial log 
book to make sure that the Captain had not been 

The customs men followed him aboard, and 
being assured that we were not pirates, departed 
to where the brandy and soda offered a more 
tempting interest. As I expected; the pilot came 


alongside about nine-thirty, very much disgusted 
to think that I should dare to run the channel 
without the guidance of his steady head and 

Had he not been here for fifteen years doing 
this work which required skill and courage, pilot- 
ing ships of all nations into and out of this dan- 
gerous channel? What was it to him (with a, 
clinking glass), whether the conversation took 
the shape of the battle of Balaclava or the bom- 
bardment of Alexandria? Let the ships lay in 
the offing and await his pleasure. They were 
helpless without him, and must await his guid- 
ance to reach safe anchorage. 

He scrambled over the side, and adjusting his 
monocle to look me over, said in an accent that 
would make a cockney cab-driver take to honest 
toil, "Ahem, ahem, where is your captain?'' 

" He is somewhere around the Equator in 145° 
west longitude," I said. " Ow, ow, I see. He 
abandoned the ship, I suppose.'' 

" Yes," said I, " he left much against his will. 
It is rather strange, is it not? " 

" Well, I'll be blowed to think he should have 
departed in this manner." 


Jtilejy who was coiling down the main boom 
tackle fall, was more interested in the English 
pilot than in coiling ropes. The last remark of 
the pilot re-echoed back from him in words not 
befitting this high command. 

" Shur'n it's more av them that onght to be 
laying at the l)ottom of the sea with a mill stone 
around their neck/' 

The way Riley's one eye wonld alternate from 
the pilot to the little town across the harbor, 
and the way his lips twitched suggested to me 
what was going on in his mind. To think he had 
sailed seventy-five hundred miles to find a speci- 
men like this ! " To hell with the pledge and 
Cannibal Isles, isn't the sight of this enongh to 
drive any poor Irishman into swearing allegiance 
to John Barleycorn for the rest of his life? " 


Introducing Captain Kane, Mrs. Pagan and 

Mrs. Fagan^s Bar 

After convincing the pilot of the Captain's 
death, I was given a severe reprimand for com- 
ing into the harbor alone. When he went ashore 
I had the small boat lowered, and, putting on a 
pair of the dead Captain's shoes, also his shirt 
and pants, I had Broken-Nosed Pete row me to 
the landing place on the wharf. 

I wanted to look up the consignee and see 
where he wanted the cargo of lumber. There 
were a few cutters anchored in the harbor, but 
no ships. As we neared the wharf, I noticed a 
neat and clean little steam cutter lying along 
the south side of the wharf, and judged from 
the three-pound gun on her deck that she was 
a revenue cutter. On the wharf stood many 
natives, male and female. I was particularly 
attracted to the native men, who were wonderful 



types of physical development, standing six feet 
or more, with broad shoulders and deep chests. 
The muscles ran smoothly in their arms and 
legs, and their tapering thighs and agile feet 
made a picture seldom seen in the northern lati- 
tudes. They had no worries and troubles in 
dealing with the tailors and dressmakers. Adam 
and Eve fashions still prevailed here, although 
some of the more prominent wore a yard or two 
of white linen instead of the fig leaves. This, 
contrasted with the shiny dark skin and the 
white-washed hair, which had a vertical pitch, 
rather distinguished them in appearance from 
their more humble brethren. 

Broken-Nosed Pete was so fascinated by " the 
female of tl\e species,'' that he forgot to moor 
the boat. As the latter was drifting away from 
the wharf I gave him instructions to be more 
prudent, — to make fast the boat, and remain 
there until my return. Evidently Pete was not 
looking for this rebuke, for he answered in a 
voice that could be heard the width of the harbor 
saying, "Aye, aye, there seems to be a hellish 
current, sir.'' 

As I started to walk up the wharf I was met 


by a young man wearing a Palm Beach suit. 
" You are the Captain of the * Wampa/ I believe," 
said he, " I represent Smith & Company here, 
and your cargo is consigned to us/' After show- 
ing me where the lumber was to go, he told me 
that I would have to raft it ashore. This was 
rather discouraging to me, as the distance was 
about one mile from the ship and I had never had 
any experience with work of this kind, but on 
account of shallow water at the dock I had no 
other alternative and decided to raft the cargo 
ashore as he directed. 

He invited me to his office, telling me that he 
believed there was mail there for the ship. In 
passing a hotel at the end of the wharf he sug- 
gested a highball, which was served in due course 
by a red-headed Irish barmaid. I was then intro- 
duced to a number of Hibernians, noticeable 
among whom was a very fat and blubbery looking 
creature with an unusually large nose. His 
black beard was streaked with gray, his mouth 
had a sort of an angular twist, and in opening 
it one could see a few stray tusks, so solitary 
that it seemed they must be quite conscious of 
the old surroundings. The shirt, with its nico- 


tine and other stains^ was open at the neck, dis- 
playing a black and long-haired breast. This he 
seemed to be very proud of. 

After telling me that his name was Captain 
Kane, and that he was the Captain of the " Pon- 
gon/' the revenue cutter which I had noticed 
lying alongside the wharf, he put his hand to his 
breast and began to twist the black hair. This 
was probably an act of official dignity as Captain 
of the " Pongon,'' and representative of the Brit- 
ish Government in the Fiji Archipelago. I got 
the mail, which consisted of three letters, one 
for the cook, and one for me from the owners, 
instructing me to proceed home in ballast to San 
Francisco. The other was addressed to Nelson, 
the Dane. When I got back aboard the ship it 
was noon, and raining as it knows how to rain in 
this country. It was not dropping down, but a 
continuous stream as if running through a 

The afternoon was given to taking off deck- 
lashings and getting a line ashore in order to be 
able to pull the raft to the wharf. This opera- 
tion used up almost all the rope on the ship. 

About seven o'clock the crew came aft to say 


that they were going ashore and wanted some 
money to spend. Oh, no, not at all for whiskey, 
just a few necessary things such as socks, tobacco 
and handkerchiefs. (Whoever heard of a sailor 
buying a handkerchief while the ready oakum 
is to be had for the asking ! ) I assured them that 
tomorrow I would draw on the owners, and give 
them one pound each to spend on these luxuries. 
They went forward growling and grumbling, and 
not at all pleased with this proposition. I 
believe that Broken-Nosed Pete's description of 
what he had seen at the wharf weighed heavy on 
their minds. 

In the morning we started the raft by taking 
four long two-by-sixes and lashing them at the 
ends, thus forming a square, then launching it 
over the side, and making- it fast to the ship. 
We started to stow the lumber on the ship, run- 
ning the boards fore and aft, then athwart ships. 
After having stowed a few tiers, the raft took 
shape, but great care had to be, taken in starting 
it, as it was hard to keep the first boards from 
floating away. The raft could not draw over 
six feet, otherwise we could not float it ashore, 
but with this draft we could raft twenty thousand 


feet aahore and escape the shallow places in the 

I went ashore towards nooii to hire ten natives 
to help unload cargo. Much to my surprise^ the 
native Fijian is a man of leisure and not of toil. 
Shell-fishing is good^ and the yams and bananas 
are within easy reach, so this gentleman prefers 
to bask in the sunshine rather than to work for 
a paltry shilling. 

I was about to go to the office of Smith & Com- 
pany to see what they could do for me about 
getting help, when I espied Captain Kane stroll- 
ing up the wharf. From the way his legs were 
spread apart one could see that his cargo 
was something different from lumber. As he 
approached me I noticed the cigar was so short 
that it was singeing his black beard and mus- 
tache. He greeted me warmly, saying, " How's 
she heading, sonny?" and insisted that I join 
him in a glass, as he usually took one about this 
time of day. 

On the way to the hotel I told him how hard 
it was going to be for me to get help. He stopped 
suddenly, and, turning around to look at the har- 
bor as if to make sure that there were no block- 


ade runners in the offing, he fanned himself with 
his cheese-cutter cap, then turned towards me 
saying, *^ Why, man alive, I can load your ship 
down with coolies. Do you see those,'' pointing 
to a couple of small men, " they are our workers 
here. They come in from the Solomon group. I 
will get you as many as you want for two shil- 
lings a day and meals. As for these natives, they 
are damned lazy scoundrels, that's what they are, 
they won't work at all if they can help it." 

Mrs. Fagan greeted us with a smUe, asking us 
in the good old Irish way what our pleasure 
might be. Her red hair was much in need of 
combing and lacked the delicate wave of the ton- 
sorial artist. We were joined by the pilot, who 
was on his way to give his boat's crew a little 
excursion around the harbor. " One must keep 
them in practice, you know. Goodness knows 
when a coolie ship may heave in sight, and I 
must be there to guide her in. Oh, yes, I must 
do my duty rain or shine." 


Beminisgenges op Old Clippee Days 

One could see from the yawn and grunt that 
Captain Kane gave, that if the pilot went on talk- 
ing he would disregard all rules of the road and 
make it a head-on collision. How could he 
respect this thing, that called itself captain and 
pilot, when all he commanded was an open boat 
with a few black oarsmen ; " It is practice you 
want," said Captain Kane, raising his glass and 
draining the last dregs from Mrs. Fagan's high- 
ball, setting the glass down on the bar with a 
bang that seemed to further derange Mrs. Fagan's 
red hair. 

She turned around exclaiming, " May the Lord 
save us and phat was that? " 

" Let me tell you," said Captain Kane to the 
pilot, wiping his mouth, " that I don't think you 
know Hell about doing your duty. Here's a 
man" — patting me on the shoulder — "that 
squared away and ran the reef while you were 



asleep, yes, damn you, asleep. You talk about 
duty ! '' The • little wisp of hair on Captain 
Kane's head no longer lay in quiet repose, but 
started to ascend as if controlled by the angular 
motions of his hands and feet. The illuminating 
light in his bleary eyes continued, and he ssdd 
in a voice that sounded like the rolling surf, 
" Fifty years ago, running between Ceylon and 
the United Kingdom, in the old tea clippers 
where our topsails and top-gallant sheets were 
locked with a padlock, and where we got a bonus 
from the owners whenever we carried away a 
sail. Those were the days ! " 

He brought his clubbed fist down on the bar 
with such force that he jarred many of the glasses 
that were arranged around the beer pump han- 
dles. Mrs. Fagan whispered to me that the Cap- 
tain was not himself today at all, at all, that he 
seldom gave way like this. "You talk about 
duty to me," Captain Kane continued, " but I've 
seen the time when every damned man of us were 
tied to the rigging during a typhoon. Never a 
reef nor a furled sail, while the Captain held the 
padlock keys. Oh, boys, those were the days, 
and you come around here talking to me about 


your duty. Go on with you now before I forget 
that I am Captain of His Majesty's ship ^ Pon- 
gon.' " 

The pilot was much distressed by this outburst 
of anger from Captain Kane. As he adjusted 
his monocle with trembling fingers before reply- 
ing, a side door opened and Mr. Tim Fagan, pro- 
prietor of the Pier Hotel, greeted us with a grin, 
saying, *^ 'Tis a foine day we be havin', men, and 
how are you all this morning? " 

The contrast between Mr. and Mrs. Fagan was 
interesting, and one could see that the eugenic 
situation had not yet reached south of twenty- 

His costume was that which is worn by the 
English lodge gate-keeper. He stood about five 
feet four, in the long stockings and the knee 
pants, the spiral legs, the number ten boots. 
This rig was coupled with the fringe of a beard 
extending from ear to ear, partly displaying a 
small chin and upper lip. Such an upper lip is 
seldom seen outside South Africa, but with him 
it had assumed such vast proportions that there 
was little to see of the face. The wart or button 
that was intended for a nose was pushed up the 


face and in line with the gray eyes. The mouth 
was in contrast to the upper lip, but its expan- 
sion was lost in the sandy stubble of the side 

Mrs. Fagan looked adoringly at her beloved 
spouse and said, "Tim, it's yourself that will 
treat the gintlemen/' 

It was with great difficulty that Captain Kane 
reached a small shack made of bamboo poles and 
palm leaves. On entering we were confronted 
with a sight long to be remembered, for there, 
sitting around in a circle were fourteen natives 
of the Solomon Islands chewing kara root, 
which, after much masticating, they spit into a 
large earthen-ware dish. The kara root when 
properly masticated is then collected, put 
through a sort of churning process and made 
into a drink which is known as Fiji grog. It 
resembles oatmeal water, which is a familiar 
drink among our northern harvest hands, but 
lacks its obvious peculiarities. The natives 
greeted the Captain with a salaam-san and prof- 
fered him a cup of the thick and slimy substance. 
The Captain refused, saying that it was near his 
lunch hour and he preferred not to indulge on 


an empty stomach, which I was pleased to see, 
for if he had taken aboard some of this myste- 
rious looking cargo and mixed it in his water- 
tight compartment there would have been a 
vacant chair at lunch on board His Majesty's 
ship " Pongon." 


Unloading Cargo — Again the Master — 

Native Poucb 

I had no difficulty in hiring ten of the little 
men, and took them off to the ship to work cargo. 
In the afternoon we hauled a raft of lumber 
ashore. I was greatly encouraged with this 
process of unloading; of course it lacked the 
noise of the steam winch and the occasional pro- 
fanity of the Frisco longshoremen, but this was 
the South Sea Isles where work was a pleasure. 

I drew thirty pounds ( a hundred and fifty dol- 
lars), remembering that the crew had some " pur- 
chases^^ to make that evening. After supper 
they came aft, dressed in their best clothes, and 
repeated their demands of the evening before. 

After giving each member of the crew forward 
one pound, and the second mate and cook two 
pounds, they got in the boat and pulled ashore, 
leaving me and Toby, the black cat, to guard the 



ship. I remained long after sunset on deck lis- 
tening to the natives singing and playing their 
guitars. The sounds mingled with the noise of 
the surf breaking on the reefs beyond the purring 
of Toby, created a lullaby that would soothe the 
wildest intellect. 

Leaving Toby on deck to play with the cock- 
roaches, I went aft to the cabin to make the 
report of the day. While thus working I was 
interrupted by a strange noise in the Captain's 
room. I thought it was Toby going his rounds, 
but upon investigation I found that he was on 
deck and sitting by the galley door. I was busy 
with an example in proportion. If it took one 
day to unload twenty thousand feet of lumber 
how many days would it take to unload five hun- 
dred thousand? I seated myself at the table 
again, but was brought up with a sudden start on 
hearing three loud and distinct knocks on the 
dead Captain's door. I found myself saying, 
" Yes, Captain, I will attend to it at once." 

In my excitement of the past few days I had 
forgotten to mail the dead Captain's last will to 
Berkeley, California. I jumped up and opened 
the door leading to his room. Lighting the light 


and going to a small drawer in the desk^ I took 
out the will, also the little shoes, and the pink 
ribbons, and yellow curls, and started ashore to 
mail them to the above address in the U. S. A. I 
did not stop now to write the letter, which I knew 
must also go, and which would be so very hard 
for me to write. 

I made the small boat fast at the landing, and 
hurried to where I could get stamps, for I was 
bound that these packages should leave on the 
next north-bound steamer. 

As I neared the Pier Hotel I was surprised to 
see Biley standing outside the door talking in a 
loud and profane voice. In passing him I could 
hear him say, "Ah go- wan, you dirty Conne- 
mara crook, shur'n I knew your father, he used to 
eat swill out of the swill barrels.^' 

With this a chair came bouncing through the 
door, which increased my speed for, the Post 
Office. Evidently, Mr. Fagan and Riley had 
been having some political argument, for in the 
distance he was shouting, " Parnell was a gintle- 
man and a scholar ! " 

Eiley's shouting was evidently disturbing the 
peace of the harbor, for a great many of the 


natives, men and women, were running towards 
the Pier Hotel where he was holding forth. 

As I walked to the more thickly settled part of 
the town I stopped and asked a white man where 
the Post Office was. On being told it was down 
by the Club Hotel, the anxiety to relieve my mind 
of this obligation caused me to put on more 
speed, and I shoveled along in the Captain's 
heavy and much too large boots. Arriving at 
the Club Hotel I was informed that the Post 
Office was closed. The genial host, a thick 
heavy-set Australian, supplied me with stamps, 
paper and envelopes, and I wrote to the owners 
telling them of the Captain's death, and sent the 
package in their care, with instructions to for- 
ward it to the proper address. 

I felt greatly relieved of my responsibility to 
the Captain and owners when the host assured 
me that he would take care of the postage in the 
morning. Becoming suddenly conscious of the 
real picturesqueness of these islands and anxious 
to see the natives at closer range, I called up all 
the old beach combers in the hotel to have a 
drink. This seemed to please the proprietor, for 
he shouted, " Come on, men, breast the bar ! " 


I noticed Broken-Nosed Pete in the comer hav- 
ing a very confidential chat with a villainons- 
looking man. They were so occupied that they 
failed to hear the cheery command of the pro- 
prietor. The attractive barmaid was very much 
annoyed at my ordering ginger ale, turning 
around and looking at herself in the glass and 
adjusting her white crocheted cap as if to make 
sure that she was really awake and not dream- 
ing. " Whoever heard of a sailor drinking gin- 
ger ale," she might have said, " haven't they come 
here from the four corners of the earth always 
thirsty for the rirtn that makes them merry and 
gay? Besides, you can never loosen up a man on 
ginger ale." 

His spendings in the rum shops in this case 
are not at all to the liking of the pretty bar- 
maids, who flatter themselves that they get the 
last penny from the sailor just off the sea. I 
was reminded of the time by seeing an old-fash- 
ioned clock hanging to the right of the bar, when 
suddenly a trap door on top of the old clock 
opened, and a cuckoo hopped out cooing the hour 
of eleven o'clock. So absorbed had I been in 
meeting with the old shell-backs, who were lined 


along the bar at my expense drinking Old Tom 
and soda that I became oblivious both of the 
flight of time and the slow trickling away of my 
money. I made a hasty getaway for the open. 

Outside the night was warm and everything 
peaceful and tranquil. The rolling hills to the 
eastward were illuminated by the silvery rays 
of a rising moon. The occasional hum of the 
disgusted mosquito who had missed his mark 
was all that seemed to disturb the peace of this 
quaint Fijian town. The moon took flight, 
squeezing and pushing her way through the far- 
off stately palms. As she began to throw ghostly 
shadows from the native house tops, I felt the 
fascination of these islands as never before. The 
soft trade winds, the silvery rippling waters, the 
lullaby from the reef beyond, the cooing and 
gurgling of the surf as it played upon the coral 
beech below, were enchanting. 

The distant call of the native boatman shoving 
oflE with his cargo of vegetables and fruits for 
early market, caused silvery threads of sound in 
the night, and a parrakeet chattered as he gave 
way to a more worthy rival. The tune of the sea- 


gull reached me as he dove from on high and 
missed his wiggling fish. 

While listening to these strange and interest- 
ing sounds, I was rudely interrupted by boister- 
ous laughter coming from the direction of the 
Piei* Hotel. I thought of Riley, and hastened 
there, thinking that his political argument must 
have taken a serious trend. 

Much to my surprise Riley was not to be seen, 
but there stood the Socialist cooj^, perched high 
on a dry goods box with a large mug of ale in 
one hand and a black cigar in the other. There 
were a few native men and women standing 
around, evidently much amused by the cook's ges- 
tures. Back of him, beside a sickly and yellow 
oil lamp, stood two natives dressed in loose 
tunics, whose sleeves were cut off at the elbow. 
They also wore short skirts coming down to the 
knee, and below that was nature's own. What 
attracted me most was the coloring of this 
strange uniform. 

As I edged closer I noticed that this kilty-look- 
costume was a very dark blue, but the trimmings 
were getting on my nerves. The wearers were 


standing with one side to the oil lamp^ and from 
this angle I conld see that the dresses were 
trimmed with red borders about three inches 
wide above the neck. The cut-oflE sleeves also 
had their share of this Satanic display. The 
short petticoat was more conspicuous. This, 
contrasted with large feet and yellow legs, show- 
ing the blood-red border on the indigo skirt, was 
a coloring seldom seen in any man's country. 

As they whispered to each other I noticed that 
they had long clubs belted onto their hands. 
The cook, between a puff on the black cigar and 
a drink of Bass' Famous was decrying the Brit- 
ish government for making slaves of them. 
After much persuasion I took the cook in tow 
for the ship. I did not like the look of His 
Majesty's Fijian policeman, especially since I 
was so much dependent on early breakfasts for 
both the crew and natives. 

At the row-boat the cook hesitated, saying: 
" Just one more before we part." When I 
answered him in the negative he straightened up 
and squared his shoulders, saying : " To Hell with 
monarchies; I shall give them the ballot to do 
with as they may." The ginger ale in this 


instance was more powerful than the famous 
Bass' ale and I shouldered the cook easily up the 
gangway. I noticed as I did so that the cat-boat 
was not alongside. Evidently the crew was still 
enjoying Fiji hospitality. This was proven on 
reaching the deck, for the only sound that greeted 
us was Toby purring and wagging his black tail, 
happy in the knowledge that even a drunken cook 
was preferable to the lonely swinging anchor 
light on the fore-stay. 

I left the cook, after assuring him that I would 
lend my assistance in starting a socialist colony 
on one of these islands. From the way he 
tumbled into the bunk there would be little time 
consumed in making his toilet in the morning. 
Perhaps it was just as well if one denies the 
claims of bedbugs, cockroaches and mosquitoes. 
They had waited patiently for the past six hours 
for just this event. What a wonderful oppor- 
tunity they would find in this fat and blubbery 
creature lying there in an ecstasy of bliss, with 
not a groan to disturb their peaceful recreation. 
Only a matter of a slight incision on a choice 
part, then insert the valve and turn on the cen- 
trifugal pump and all would be done to their 


great satisfaction. But this slumbering animal 
was now done up in impenetrable strata of 
clothes, which ruined their sport. 

Removing the hat and loosing the black and 
red tie from around his neck, I blew out the light, 
and left him to determine a battle for the sur- 
vival of the fittest. 


Shoeb Leave — The Web-Toed Sailor — The 

Missionary Ship 

I was wondering whether to go ashore to look 
for the crew, when I heard the second mate's 
voice saying: "Easy on your port oars. Give 
away hard on your starboard." As they came 
alongside the gangway I could see Riley and the 
Russian-Finn asleep in the bow of the cat-boat. 
Dago Joe was missing, and the others had had 
about all the rum they could stand. I gave the 
second mate orders to leave Riley and the Rus- 
sian-Finn in the boat, as it was dangerous to 
try to get them on board while they were so 
drunk. Swanson spoke up, saying: "To Hell 
with you, we do what we damned please." 

I was rather upset by this remark coming from 
the big Swede. I should have thought that he 
would have had enough of fighting on the trip 
south. Evidently the booze was working on him 
and he was intending revenge. I stepped over 



to the pin-rail and pulled out a wooden belaying- 
pifi. Booze or no booze, I was going to make 
this brute respect me if I had to resort to old- 
time methods. Eunning down the gangway, I 
ordered all that could walk up to get there 
damned quick and pointed to Swanson, saying: 
" You will be the first to leave the boat." As the 
ship swung with the outgoing current, the moon 
revealed the expression of hatred on Swanson's 
face. The high cheek bones, the knitted viking- 
brows, the large cruel mouth, showing the irreg- 
ular and vicious-looking tusks, the eyes no longer 
blue, whose pupils were so enlarged that the 
color had disappeared, — all this gave him just 
the look of a wild animal at bay. 

Swanson jumped from the stem-sheets to the 
center of the boat, shouting : " Shove her oflE and 
we will go ashore again, and you may go to Hell." 
As he reached for the boat hook to shove her off 
or to use it on me if it should come handy, I did 
not wait for him to decide. Jumping into the 
boat, I knocked him down and ordered the others 

Whether my sudden irruption amongst them 
with the belaying-pin was a csounter-irritant for 


the booze they had within them or not I don't 
know. But the boat was cleared in two min- 
utes, leaving Swanson, Riley and the Finn lying 
in the bottom. The second mate, although try- 
ing with a thick tongue to proclaim his innocence 
of haying had even a glass of ale, was making 
heavy weather of it while going up the gangway. 
I reached for the water dipper and poured the 
salt, but warm, sea water over Swanson. After 
a few applications of this stimulating treatment 
he arose to his feet saying, " I tank I go on board 
now." I followed him up the gangway and for- 
ward to his bunk to make sure there would be 
no tricking from this brute. I remembered the 
cowardly kick on my forehead and resolved if 
there was any kicking to be done I would do it. 

Walking aft, I heard splashing as if some one 
was overboard. On reaching the gangway I dis- 
covered that the Finn was missing from the boat. 
Ahead of the cat-boat lay a raft of lumber, and 
on the outside of it I could plainly see bubbles 
coming up, and wondered if this could not be the 
action of a vegetable gas. 

But to my horror the Russian's head popped 
out of the water, and with it came a blood-curd- 


ling scream as he writhed about in his death 
struggles. Instead of making for the raft, he 
was fanning and kicking the water away from 

I dropped the belaying-pin, and, slashing the 
shoe strings of the Captain's boots, jumped out 
of them and overboard after the drowning Finn. 
As I swam near him his hands went up and with 
a shriek he sank below. After several attempts 
at diving, I finally caught him by the arm, and 
arose to the surface. Swimming over to the 
gangway, I caught hold of the boat painter, and, 
throwing his arms over the rope, I managed to 
crawl onto the lower platform, then pulling and 
struggling with this dead burden, I gradually 
made my way to the deck. 

I dumped him down on the break of the poop 
and ran for the cook's pork barrel. It wasn't 
that I was so terribly interested in this lifeless 
thing, but I was interested in knowing that 
should I lose him I would be forced to sail short- 
handed, as there were no sailors here who cared 
to stray far away from the cocoanuts and yams. 

When it came to rolling I gave him the benefit 
of the doubt. I rolled him under the barrel and 


over it, and stimulated him with artificial respi^ 
ration. After about one hour he began to show 
signs of life. I then carried him forward to 
his bunk, taking off his shoes and stockings. 

My attention was caught by his feet, for he 
had one large toe on each foot, and in place of 
the smaller toes all that remained was a thin 
tissue or web, extending from the large toe to 
where the smaller one should be. Then it 
dawned upon me that the reason this man never 
went barefooted was his bashfulness of these 
duck-like feet. After covering him over in the 
bunk, I hurried to where Eiley was lying in the 
boat, finding him cuddled up with his head 
between his legs. 

I decided to leave him there, but secured him 
fast with a rope, in such a way that when he 
became sober it would be necessary for some one 


to come to his rescue; I was not going to take 
any chances on having to be the pearl diver to 
fish Eiley from the depth of Suva Harbor. 

Away to the eastward the faint rays of a new 
day were shown in an amber sky streaked with 
brilliant pink. Taking the cook's alarm clock, 
I went below to secure some sleep before five 


o'clock. While fixing the mosquito net over the 
port hole in my room I was startled by hearing a 
cry which resolved itself into, " Murder, murder, 
begorra it's tied they have me. Hivenly Father, 
to think I should be ate up by those damned 
cannibals and not a soul in sight to see the last 
of Michael Dennis Riley." 

I would gladly have left Riley tugging and 
pulling at the diamond hitch that bound him, 
but I was afraid that his cries of murder would 
attract the Fiji policemen ashore. It required 
tact and skill and diplomacy to untie Riley. He 
was snapping and kicking, and dangerous to get 
near. He was calling on all the angels in 
Heaven to witness the terrible crime he was 
about to be subjected to. I assured him that 
his old tough and tarry hide was not even fit for 
a shark to eat, let alone a decent Fiji cannibal. 

He seemed to scent a kindly influence, but was 
rather inclined to resent the idea of having a 
tarry hide. After his hands and feet were free 
he wanted to fight it out there, and then saying 
that it did not matter a tinker's damn who called 
him this name, but there was no man that could 


get away with an insulting remark like calling 
him a tarry-hide or an old shell-back. 

" Be Hivins, the cannibals are bad enough/' 
he said, " but to call a dacent man a name like 
this is too much for the pride of Ireland to 

As he struggled to his feet I stepped over to 
the blind side of him and tightened the clove 
hitch around his neck. I had no desire to let this 
drunk-crazed Irishman loose on the boat. After 
much coaxing and reassuring he finally recog- 
nized me and offered an apology. I took the 
hitch off his neck, and let him up to the deck, 
Where he begged for one more hour's sleep. I 
called the cook to get breakfast, as it was nearly 
five o'clock, and had a look at the Finn, who 
seemed none the worse for his plunge in the har- 
bor. The freaky and webby toes were sticking 
out over the bunk and I wondered if it were pos- 
sible to drown a man with feet like these, since 
they had all the characteristics of a duck's foot. 

There were yet two hours left before it was 
time to start work for the day, so I hastened to 
my room and was soon asleep. After breakfast 


it was a sickly-looking crew that came on deck, 
some of them very much ashamed, others com- 
plaining about not having ice on board, as tHe 
fresh water was too warm and did not have the 
soothing effect it otherwise would have. 

The ten Solomon Islanders ate their beans and 
hardtack as if nothing had happened, much to 
the disgust of the sailors, who seemed to feel the 
nauseating effect of this act. The work of mov- 
ing the lumber was going slowly. It seemed that 
the sailors could not get enough oatmeal water. 
Nothing pleased them, everything was wrong. 
The lumber was too long. It was too heavy. It 
was not sawed right at the mill. Why did they 
have to work, and so on and so on? 

I realized that if this kept up it would be many 
weeks before we would be ready to sail for home. 
With this thought in mind, I jumped into the 
small boat and pulled ashore to get three quarts 
of Black and White Scotch whiskey. I felt that 
after they had had a drink of this famous brand 
the lumber would move with a will. After giving 
each one a drink of this murky liquor the lumber 
seemed to move as if by magic. No longer was 
it too large and heavy. Each one was trying to 


outdo the other. The Solomon Islanders were 
in great danger from the flying two-by-fours, and 
even the cook was wielding the axe with greater 
skill as he drove it into the fibrous yams. This 
was a new departure in the handling of sailors, 
but so far it was working well. If it was neces- 
sary for Scotch whiskey to enter into the dis- 
charging of this cargo, I was going to see that 
each man had enough to stimulate him to even 
greater results. 

While ashore in the afternoon ordering fresh 
meat and vegetables, I met Captain Kane, who 
insisted that I pay a visit to His Majesty's ship 
"Pongon.^^ In walking down the wharf, the 
Captain noticed a ship in the offing. He seemed 
interested as he hurried along to the cutter. 

"You know," said he, "my eyes are not as 
good as they should be, and I'll be damned if I 
know whether she is a coolie or a missionary 

Contract labor is used here in working the rice 
fields and sugar plantations. The coolies sign a 
five-year contract for sixpence (twelve cents) per 
day, and all the rice they can eat. They live by 
themselves and don^t associate with the natives, 


as they consider them unclean because they eat 
pig. They are very devout in their worship of 
Allah and adhere strictly to fish and vegetables 
as a food. They are the type seen in Bombay 
and Calcutta. Many of them, after being' here 
for a few years, form a company and buy a small 
sloop of five to ten tons to haul cobra from the 
different islands to Suva, the capital of the Fijis. 
The latter town is a distributing center for the 
Archipelago, and here is where ships of many 
nations come and load this dried cocoanut for 
the foreign markets of the world. It is one of 
the chief industries of these islands. 

On boarding the revenue cutter, I noticed the 
native crew standing around the gangway. 
They all came to a salute, as their proud Captain 
swung over the rail. Their uniform resembled 
that of the policemen, but instead of a red border 
in a blue field, it was white. This white border 
with the white-washed hair gave them a clean 
and wholesome look, very different from the 

Captain Kane led the way to the bridge, and, 
picking up a pair of binoculars, he made out the 
strange craft to be a missionary ship. " You will 


notice/' said he as he handed the glasses to me^ 
^^that she has painted ports, — damn them 
painted ports, I know what it means, not a 
blasted drink as long as she is here. And that's 
not all, when them missionaries come ashore, 
especially the older women, all a person sees 
around here is Hell's burning fires." 

The coming of the missionary ship held no 
charm for Captain Kane. His proud and digni- 
fied bearing gave way to that of a child, or one 
who has lost a near and dear friend. " It is too 
damned bad," he shouted, " that she should come 
here at this time; I and a few old friends were 
about to have a little party." Here he pulled his 
cheese-cutter cap down with a jerk, so that the 
bleary eyes were no longer visible. 

" And now I suppose I'll have to be converted 
again. Yes, Hell and damnation, I have been 
converted to every religion that was ever heard 
of. Oh, yes, they commercialize it down here, 
and we all chip in to keep the brass work shining 
on the missionary ships." 

Here Captain Kane made a hasty exit from 
the good ship " Pongon " and laid out a course 
for the Pier Hotel, saying: "Little does the 


world know the troubles that some people haye 
who are trying to do their duty to their God and 
their King/' 

At half -past four in the afternoon the mission- 
ary ship dropped anchor about a cable's length 
off our starboard bow. Her crew were dressed 
in man-o'-war uniforms. They lowered a boat, 
and as they pulled ashore I could see five portly- 
looking dames sitting in the stern. They were 
discussing our ship, and, from the scowling 
glances they gave us, I felt that we were safe in 
standing by to repel boarders. They cast loving 
glances at His Majesty's ship " Pongon," perhaps 
consulting as to what form of baptism would be 
most impressive for Captain Kane. 

The crew had no desire to go ashore this even- 
ing. The last strenuous night and a hard day's 
work, had left them in a rather sullen mood. 
Even Old Charlie and Riley were not on speaking 
terms. Swanson's jaw showed the mark of a 
belaying-pin, and he seemed quite conscious of it 
as he chewed his evening meal. The web-toed 
liussian-Finn looked as if the hum of the mos- 
quito would be a welcome lullaby to the land of 


The cook, though silent and morose, would lift 
his head occasionally from the dishes to listen 
to the natives singing their evening hymn, " Shall 
We Gather at the River Where Bright Angels' 
Feet Do Tread." Anything with angels in it was 
displeasing to our cook. He even seemed to take 
a sudden dislike to Toby as he kicked him out of 
the galley door, exclaiming, "Get out of here, 
damn you ; I suppose they will be putting wings 
on you before long.'' 

The Solomon Islands workmen, although tired 
from the day's work, were laughing and chatting 
in their native tongue as they circled around a 
large dishpan of Mulligan stew. 

Knives and forks were not much in evidence, 
the natives preferring to use their hands to 
eat with. Although trained for centuries to 
eat in this manner, I must say that the cook's 
Mulligan stew kept them guessing. I decided 
that tomorrow, if perchance the cook should 
arise under the refining influence of a good 
night's rest, I would ask him to thicken the 
Mulligan stew in the interest of the Solomon 

The discharging of cargo was progressing sat- 



isfactorily, since we now had the deck load off, 
and were commencing on the hold. In a few 
days I had hopes of clearing from Suva and start- 
ing on our long voyage home. 


Fiji Royalty — Local Color — Visitors to 

THE Ship 

Today I met the royal family of the Fiji 
Islands. The King, although old, was a very 
impressive figure, with his long white kinky hair 
and massive bushy eyebrows. His color was 
that of a mulatto, a higher type than that of the 
native Fijians. He wore a loose white tunic cut 
off at the elbows, and girdled around him was 
what looked like a homespun sheet. This gar- 
ment was twisted and tucked tight around the 
hips, the lower folds falling loosely above the 
knee; the legs were muscular and strong, and 
the calves bulged out as if inflated with air. The 
feet were ugly, long and broad, and the toes 
resembled those of a starfish. No matter what 
the angle from which one viewed them, there 
would always be a toe pointing towards one. 

The two princesses were gaily attired in blue 



checked Mother Hubbards. This long and flow- 
ing garment made them look like onr North 
American squaws. In features they resembled 
the Samoan type of women. 

The Prince, of stately bearing, wore a costume 
similar to that of his royal father, but his most 
distinguishing characteristic was the number 
twelve boots he wore. He seemed particularly 
interested in those massive hides, as he told me 
how he came to be their proud possessor. There 
was no last large enough on the island, and again 
there was a shortage of leather, so it came to pass 
that some local astronomer measured the altitude 
of his Highness* feet, and this measure, sealed in 
a conch shell, was cast adrift and floated away to 
an Australian port, where it finally drifted into 
the hands of one of Dickens' migrating cobblers, 
who filled the order and waxed them together. 

While discussing with the King the starry ban- 
ner as it floated from the mast head of the " Wam- 
pa,'' my attention was attracted to the silent and 
lonesome figure of a man, descending the hill 
beyond the town. As this melancholy figure 
wended its way among the palms, I could make 
out the pea jacket and cheese-cutter cap of Cap- 


tain Kane. As he approached he wore a troubled 
and anxious look as if in fear, but when he recog- 
nized the royal family, his expression gave way 
to a more pleasing one. He spat out a large chew 
of tobacco, and slapping the King on the shoul- 
der, " How in Hell did you know the missionary 
ship was in ? " 

" Oh,^^ replied the King, " we see flag on hill.*' 
Captain Kane explained to me that when a 
missionary ship puts in to Suva they raise a flag 
on one of the largest hills back of the town. That 
signals to the natives for miles around that there 
are big doings in Suva. Captain Kane and the 
royal family evidently did not have much in com- 
mon, for he grabbed me by the arm and led the 
way to the Pier Hotel, leaving the royal family 
gazing and wondering if they could not have 
made a better bargain with the Stars and Stripes 
than with the Union Jack of old England. 

At the Pier Hotel, Mrs. Fagan greeted us with 
a smile. As she passed the Old Tom to Captain 
Kane she remarked, " Sure'n me eyes haven't 
rested upon you for days, Captain Kane. 'Tis 
sick I thought you were." Here she gave me a 
roguish wink. 


why I stayed away so long. As it was now one 
hour past grog time they wore anxious looks. 
A growl here and a grunt there were all that 
greeted me. But after each getting a jolt of 
Scotch, their expressions changed to a smacking 
of lips, and a heave-aho on the six-by-sixes. 

After supper the missionary boat came along- 
side, and two elderly women came aboard and 
asked if there were any Christians among the 
crew. I informed these sanctified-looking ladies 
that I had my " doots," but would be pleased to 
escort them to the crew^s quarters where they 
could make their own diagnosis. I left them to 
go down the scuttle hatch leading to the fore- 
castle and beat a hasty retreat to the cabin, fear- 
ing that I might have to share some of Captain 
Kane's misery. 

While entering in the log book the events and 
progress of the day, I realized from the sounds 
coming from the fore part of the ship, that the 
old ladies were making some headway with the 
crew. As the sound took volume, I could hear 
them singing, " Pull for the shore, sailors, pull 
for the shore, heed not the tempest's roar but 
bend to the oar.^' 


The cook, putting away his clean dishes, said, 
"What in Hell has got into those fellows this 
evening? " 

I told him that they were having a very socia- 
ble visit from the ladies who ran the missionary 
ship, and that no doubt they would be pleased 
to pay him a friendly visit. The cook threw the 
dishes to the pantry shelf, and slamming the 
pantry door exclaimed, " Keep them away from 
me; I'm in no mood to discuss religious philos- 
ophy to-night/^ 

After giving each member of the crew a small 
Bible, and praying for our souls in the safe pas- 
sage home, the old missionary women shoved off 
for the shore, apparently not at all pleased with 
their evening's work. 

If they had brought about four quarts of 
Scotch whiskey on board they would have had no 
trouble in converting the crew, for even the cook 
could be reconciled to any form of religion, old 
or new, as long as the Scotch flowed freely. 



A Deivb With Captain Kane — Bazobbagk 


The next day Captain Kane and I started for 
our drive into the island with an old battered 
two-seated rig. The horse, though old in years, 
had a look of being well taken care of, and was 
rather inclined to shy as he gazed at an unfamil- 
iar palm or cocoanut tree. I hesitatingly offered 
to spell the Captain off, and asked him to let me 
drive awhile. He turned on me very angrily 
and said, " There is no damned ship that ever 
sailed the seas that required more careful steer- 
ing than this horse does. One has got to know 
just how much helm to give him. If you should 
put it hard over and get him on the home tack 
all Hell couldn't stop him until he reached the 
stable. Oh, I know him,'' continued the Captain, 
^^ he has a mouth on him that will hold like the 
devil's claw on a windlass." 



As we drove through the rice fields, I noticed 
that Hindoos were doing the work; here and 
there could be seen the lazy natives asleep under 
the trees. "My object," said the Captain, as 
he coaxed the old horse past a flying turban that 
seemed to be coming unfastened from its wearer, 
" my object in taking you on this trip is to show 
you the result of a hurricane that happened here 
twelve years ago. It will not be necessary for 
me to discuss the velocity of the hurricane, you'll 
be able to judge for yourself when we pass that 
village ahead. But," continued the Captain, 
" for God's sake don't talk above a whisper while 
I steer Timbuctoo" (for this was the horse's 
name) " through the palm village. You can see 
by the action of his head that he is about to make 
heavy weather of it.'^ 

I must say that the old horse had taken a new 
lease of life ; he did not seem to be conscious of 
his cocked ankles or the spavins or other con- 
spicuous growths that covered his legs. With 
head erect, arched neck and ears pitched for- 
ward, he was not at all particular about using 
his front feet, but rather inclined to do the cake 
walk, and always waiting a chance to turn and 


bolt for home. This was worrying the Captain, 
for he said anxiously, " I have driven him many 
times, but never have I seen him act like this. 
It's these hellish Fijian huts with their palm- 
covered roofs that are getting on his nerves/* 

Things were going along about as well as could 
be expected until we were about at the center of 
the straggling village. Then it happened that 
from out a palm-covered hut strolled a razor- 
back hog, seemingly unconcerned as to our pres- 
ence and not inclined to observe the rules of the 
road. The Captain smelled danger, as he warped 
an extra turn of the lines around his hands, and 
remarked rather nervously, '^ There's going to be 
Hell here in about a minute." 

Timbuctoo felt as uncomfortable as his driver ; 
he too sensed the danger of this razor-backed 
hog. Captain Kane relaxed his hold on the reins 
to adjust his cheese-cutter cap to a more sea- 
worthy position. While doing so the hog stopped 
in front of Timbuctoo. All would even then 
have been well had it not been for the curiosity 
of this hungry-looking razor-back. I suggested 
to the Captain that I get out and drive the hog 
away. "Hell and damnation, no," roared the 


Captain, " keep your seat, I will pass under his 

Timbuctoo veered to starboard under the 
steady hand of Captain Kane. This move was 
in accordance with the rules of the road, but 
unfortunately it proved fatal, for it exposed 
Timbuctoo's warty legs to the hungry hog. He 
evidently thought that this was a new kind of 
crop that did not require rooting, which, to judge 
from the two large rings in his nose, was a lost 
art with him. 

Before the Captain could brace his clubby 
boots against the dash-board the razor-backed 
hog reached out with his long mouth and took 
hold of Timbuctoo's most conspicuous wart, 
which was dangling on the right hind leg. When 
Timbuctoo felt this smarting insult he decided 
not to await orders from his venerable driver. 
Grasping the bit in his mouth, he started full 
speed ahead. " There he goes," roared the Cap- 
tain, " and God knows when he will stop." 

Dan Patch had nothing on Timbuctoo. The 
cocoanut trees looked like telephone poles as 
one sees them while riding on the Twentieth Cen- 
tury Limited. ^^ I would not care a damn how 


far he would run/' sang out the Captain as if 
shouting to a man on the topsail yard in a gale 
of wind^ ^^ if I had not promised to make a speech 
at the missionary meeting to-night." 

"Let me try him, Captain?" said L 

" You try him," said he, " what in Hell do you 
know about animals? There is no living man 
could do anything with him now, he has too much 
damn steam up, all we can do is to trust to luck 
and keep our helm in midship and let him run 
before it." 

After running about two miles he seemed to 
realize that the Captain was still with him and 
not, as he expected, back with the razor-backed 
hog. Very much disappointed, he broke into a 
dog trot, much to the relief and satisfaction of 
the Captain. As he withdrew his number tens, 
which had perforated through the dashboard, he 
said, " Well, I have never come through a storm 
and lost as little canvas as on this here passage." 

Timbuctoo had no desire to set the fisherman's 
staysails, he was content to slow down to a walk. 

" Now," said the Captain, " let me get my bear- 
ings. Before we met the razor-back, I was 


going to show you the results of a hurricane as 
we know them m the Fijis." 

After Captain Kane had read the various loga- 
rithms in regard to his position, he decided that 
with the hypothenuse over the base the sine lay 
ahead and after driving about one-half mile, we 
came to a large boulder alongside the narrow 
road. "How much does that boulder weigh?" 
sniffed the Captain. 

" Oh," said I, " about four tons." 

"Would you believe," said he, "that during 
the hurricane of twelve years ago this boulder 
was carried a distance of three miles?" The 
Captain was somewhat injured at my not show- 
ing more enthusiasm. I must say that the 
boulder story was hard to absorb, although from 
its present position on the surface of the ground 
it showed that it had been moved there recently 
by some force other than the hand of man. 

Taking a chew of tobacco and damning Tim- 
buctoo for daring to rub his foaming mouth on 
his pea jacket, he said, " You may not believe that 
this was moved by the hurricane. By God, I 
can prove it and prove it I will when we reach 


' Suva.'* Evidently he hoped to invoke the testi- 
mony of some of the worthies who drink their 
Scotch to the lullaby of the sad sea waves. On 
our way back to Suva I was impressed by the 
scenery of the interior of the island, the rolling 
hills, the native timber resembling California red- 
wood in color, the tall cocoanut trees, the fre- 
quent smell of the pineapple, an occasional 
glimpse of a date palm trying to rear its head 
from amongst the tropical foliage, claiming a 
riparian right to the native shrubbery. 

Timbuctoo, on the way back to Suva, was 
slipping it off as well as he could after his recent 
flight. The razor-back hog recalled early mem- 
ories to me of the country I knew when I was a 
boy. The rings in their noses were no new things 
to me in that far-off country. The coming of the 
new potato 'crop held much charm for the Irish 
hog, but unfortunately the English landlord 
claimed a prior right in lieu of rent, and poor 
Barney was subjected to the cruel and unmer- 
ciful treatment of having horseshoe nails twisted 
in his nose. 

The Captain was in a rather sullen mood as 
we drove back. Having had nothing to drink 


but the milk from the eocoannt, he exclaimed: 
" Why in Hell don't some one start a half-way 
house out here for the benefit of those who admire 
and travel these islands? '^ 


Homeward Bound — The Stowaway 

Having cleared the English customs and with 
a clean bill of health, we were ready to sail. The 
pilot was on board and his boat's crew had a line 
fast through the stem chalk so that we could 
tow them with us clear of the channel reef. 
Once clear of the reef all that remained to do was 
to haul the pilot boat alongside and have this 
servant of His Majesty climb down the Jacob's 
ladder and into the boat which would bear him 
away to the spot where the sound of the surf 
merged into the music of the clinking glass. 

While giving orders to rig out slip lines for 
him I heard a familiar voice on the wharf sing 
out " Bon voyage, bon voyage." I looked up to 
see the portly figure of Captain Kane. He 
looked as if he had slept in his clothes. His pea 
jacket had many wrinkles in the back and in. 
front it was inclined to roll up toward his chin. 




I jumped ashore to say good-bye to this kind, 
if groggy old sea dog, shook him by the hand, 
and thanked him for my trip to the interior of 
the island, saying that I hoped to see him again. 

" You know,^' he said, " I am getting old, but 
the smell of the Stockholm tar, the white flowing 
sails, the squeaking blocks, the clink of the cap- 
stan, bring back memories of long ago, and, damn 
it all, it makes me young again." 

Captain Kane laid great stress on the hurri- 
cane season, as January, February and March 
were the months to be dreaded in the South Seas. 
After seeing the boulder that had been hurled 
by the last hurricane on these islands, I was 
hoping that I should be well enough to the north- 
ward, so that if one should come I would be out 
of the storm center, and therefore out of danger. 
The pilot was nervously pacing up and down 
the main deck anxious to get me away from the 
wharf and out to sea. Possibly a game of chess 
had been left unfinished. I jumped aboard and 
ordered the foresail and main jib set. With this 
done and the slip lines hauled aboard, the 
"Wampa" glided away from the wharf as if 
propelled by steam. 


With the af tersails spread and set to the south- 
east trades, and sheets trimmed to the wind, we 
were not long in clearing the channel reef and 
getting out into open water. After the pilot left 
I ordered the topsails set. The breeze was fair, 
and I was anxious to clear Bangor Island and 
get to the westward of it before darkness set in. 

The crew looked happy even after their night^s 
debauch, some were whistling, others humming 
familiar ditties. Eiley could be heard singing 
" Boiling Home Across the Sea " from his posi- 
tion on the f oretopmast, as he changed the top- 
sail to windward, a job which is usually done 
with very little sentiment of home or any other 

Distance was shutting out the tall green palms 
around Suva, and the town itself was just a speck 
on the horizon. Taking careful cross-bearings 
of Bangor Island, so as to avoid the dangers and 
submerged coral reefs that project from it, I 
ordered the staysails set to increase our speed 
so that with darkness I would be well to the west- 

Our staysails were put away and stowed in the 
fore peak when we came into port. The second 


mate went forward to get them up, and Swanson 
went down to bend a line around them before 
hauling them on deck. He had been down in 
the fore peak only a minute before he came up 
the ladder running very excitedly and saying 
that there was a dead man lying on the staysails. 
The crew, much upset by this remark, slunk away 
from the fore peak hatch as if deadly fumes were 
coming from within, so I got a lantern and went 
down to see the supposed dead man. I was con- 
fronted by a Hindoo stowaway. 

He was so weak from the heat of the fore peak 
and thirst that he seemed to have little life left 
in him. I called up to the deck above for a 
couple of men to come down and giv^ me a hand 
to carry. him. Old Charlie and Riley cautiously 
felt their way down, Riley ^ving orders to the 
crew above not to stand too close to the small 
hatch, as it might be necessary for him to ascend 
with all possible speed and he did not care to 
have any obstruction to his flight. Old Charlie 
approached with his usual forebodings. The 
finding of the dead Hindoo, in his estimation, 
meant nothing less than doom and destruction 
to all on board. 


Eiley was more cheerful when he found that 
there was little chance of physical danger from 
the supposed dead man. Bending the rope 
around him and carrying him to the mouth of 
the hatch^ I shouted to the crew on deck to haul 
away yery gently. We steered him up the hatch 
and landed him on deck without any serious 
bumps. The cool breeze restored him, and when 
we forced some water down his throat he began 
to show signs of life. 

I went aft to get a glass of Scotch whiskey, 
knowing that this would stimulate the heart 
action. After taking a teaspoonf ul, his moaning 
changed to some kind of Hindoo gibberish. This 
change seemed to amuse the crew. They no 
longer looked gloomy and down in the mouth, but 
seemed yery willing to help him in his fight for 
life. As he lay there I was seized with a very 
inhuman and selfish impulse. The night shades 
of the tropical evening were becoming conspic- 
uous in the western horizon, the run on the log 
showed the " Wampa ^' sixteen miles to the south- 
ward and westward of Suva harbor, with the 
southeast point of Bangor Island bearing two 
points on the starboard bow. 


Should the Hindoo stowaway come back to 
life, it would be necessary to tack ship and put 
back to Suva in order to put him ashore. 

U. S. alien laws are well known to sea-faring 
men. This stowaway had no money, no position, 
and all that he had in the way of clothes was a 
thin pair of pants. Should unfayorable condi- 
tions prevent my putting him ashore, I would be 
forced to carry him to San Francisco. Once 
there I knew what the immigration authorities 
would do to me or to the owners. More than 
likely I should have to pay his passage back by 
steamboat to the Fiji Islands. With darkness 
approaching it was not my intention to put back 
to Suva and run the risk of striking the reef at 
the entrance of the harbor. For these reasons, 
I should much prefer a sea burial for the Hindoo 

While these hard and unsympathetic thoughts 
were passing before the visible horizon of my 
mind, I was nevertheless attracted by his deli- 
cate and artistic form. The long and straight 
black hair, the finely molded ears, the aquiline 
nose, the perfect profile, the well-rounded chin,, 
the sensual mouth with its uniform white teeth 


were truly oriental of high caste. An unusual 
type for a Fijian contract laborer. 

I was deeply impressed with his boyish fig- 
ure as he lay struggling for breath on the deck. 
Suddenly I was seized with an impulse of sym- 
pathy for this frail-looking creature. Grasping 
the bottle of Scotch I pressed it to his lips and 
poured some down his throat. This act caused 
him to strangle. After fighting for breath he 
opened his eyes and sat up against the hatch 

His eyes were bright and fiery and seemed to 
penetrate through one like an X-ray. They took 
in the situation at a glance. He realized that 
he was out at sea. His gaze alternated from the^ 
flowing sail to the members of the crew. His 
eye finally rested on Swanson, he being the most 
brutish looking sailor of those who were stand- 
ing around, and therefore the most to be feared. 
I spoke to the Hindoo and said, " How long have 
you been on board? " 

"Oh," said he, "I have been down there," 
pointing to the fore peak, " for three days." He 
spoke English without an accent. Then he told 
how he had swam off to the ship, while we were 


still lying at anchor, and said that he had no idea 
that we would have been delayed so long before 
putting to sea. 

I then told him that it would be impossible to 
carry him to the United States of America. 
Although weak from heat and hunger^ he stag- 
gered to his feet and kis&ed my hand, crying, 
" Oh, please. Captain, take me along with you. 
I cannot live there under these horrible condi- 
tions, working for sixpence a day with nothing 
to eat but curry and rice. I will work for you, 
I will do anything, only take me away from 

I deeply resented my previous thought of dis- 
posing of this intelligent Hindoo. The picture 
this outcast made standing there trembling, with 
tears streaming down his boyish face, pleading 
as though his heart would break, was getting the 
best of me. Very few men of the sea can stand 
tears and emotion. Although hardened by years 
of kicks and knocks, the old-time sailor would 
much prefer a knock-down and drag-out to any 
signs of agitation. Many of the crew themselves 
consciously looked to windward and wiped away 
a rusty tear. 


While the Hindoo was still pleading, Swanson 
stepped up to me and between sobs said, "I 
wish you would take him along, sir, I have no 
one in the world to care for, and I can easily 
spare the forty dollars that you say will be neces- 
sary for him to enter the United States.'^ With 
this offer coming from a man like Swanson, I 
was as much overcome as the Hindoo was, in his 
pleading for liberty to be taken away from the 
low and dirty castes of Bombay and Calcutta 
which furnish labor for the Fiji Islands. He 
thanked Swanson by gracefully bowing and said, 
turning to me, ^^ I am sure you can make some 
use of me on your voyage home." This state- 
ment proved true, for had it not been for the 
stowaway, this narrative would never have been 

The Socialist cook was standing with his back 
up against the galley, deeply impressed with this 
new possibility. From the way he ran to make 
milk toast for the Hindoo, one would think that 
at last he had discovered a new clay to mold and 
construct and pattern after his own impressions. 


The Mysterious Hindoo 

Wtth the Hindoo question solved and the fish- 
erman's staysails set, Suva was lost in the dis- 
tance and remained but a memory. By the time 
the studded diamonds in their azure setting were 
twinkling in all the splendor of a Southern sky, 
we were well to the westward of Bangor Island. 
We had nothing to fear from coral reefs until we 
neared the Gilbert group, which lay east of the 
180th meridian and north and south of the Equa- 

After the Hindoo had eaten the milk toast and 
found that he was in the midst of friends, sail- 
ing away to a country where opportunity knocks 
on the door of hovels, he no longer looked the 
slave to his master. He refused to bunk in the 
forecastle, preferring to sleep under the fore- 
castle head. The tropical nights were warm, 
and for the time being this was a comfortable 
part of the ship in which to sleep. The crew 



were kind enough to furnish blankets for him, 
in fact, were willing to give him anything they 
jhad, for thev considered him an unusual guest. 

At ten o'clock I turned in and left orders with 
the second mate to call me at midnight. By that 
time I knew that if we held our present tate of 
eleven knots per hour, we should be far enough 
to the westward to change the course, and haul 
her more northerly. Coming on deck at eight 
bells and getting the distance run on the log, I 
went back to my room to measure the distance 
on the chart before changing the course. I 
decided to run one more hour before changing 
to the northward. 

Old Charlie was at the wheel, and it seemed 
from the way he was clearing his throat that 
he was anxious for a chat. But discipline for- 
bade. I walked forward to look at the sails, 
and see if they needed sweating up. While look- 
ing around I ran into Riley, who as usual was 
smoking his clay pipe, with its black bowl and 
short stem. It was strong enough of nicotine to 
drive a wharf -rat to suicide. 

*^ Riley," said I, " no doubt you are happy that 
we are on the last leg of our voyage." 


Before answering lie gave a few heavy puffs 
on the old dudeen to insure its not going out. 
While he was doing this I immediately changed 
for a new position to windward, for to be caught 
to leeward of these deadly fumes was to share 
the fate of the wharf -rat. 

" Well/' said Riley, " I am, and I am not." 

" Come,'' I replied, " what is it that troubles 
you? " Thinking that I had found the source of 
his discontent, I added, — " Surely, you can't 
expect me to feed you on Scotch whiskey all the 
passage home? What little there is on board 
must be kept for medicine. Just think what 
might have happened to the poor Hindoo had I 
not had a little Scotch left on board." 

At the mention of the Hindoo's name Riley 
stepped up close to me, saying, " Whisht, and it 
is that what is troubling me, it is that damned 
coolie," and he pointed to the forecastle. 

" Surely," I protested, " you are not afraid of 
that poor weak creature." 

Riley fastened down the tin cover to his pipe 
so as to secure the remains of the tobacco for 
future use. Economy of tobacco is strictly 
observed on long voyages. Even the ashes have 


an intrinsic value among sailors^ like the kind- 
ling wood of a coal stove. Tucking the pipe 
away in the folds of his breeches^ he said : 

" Ho, ho, and it is afraid you would have me ! 
Shure'n I am afraid of nothing in the say, and 
I will be damned if I will be afraid of anything 
on top of it/' 

"Well, what about the Hindoo^ what harm 
can he do to you ? '^ 

" Oh, it's the divil a bit he will be doing me. 
It's his snaky movements and his ferret eyes that 
is getting on me nerves. During the dog-watch,^' 
continued Riley, "we fixed a place under the 
foc's'le head for the coolie, giving him what blan- 
kets we could spare. At eight o'clock our watch 
below turned in. Says I to Dago Joe, ^Turn 
down the glim.' *I will blow it out,' says he. 
* Not by a damn sight,' says I. ' Shur'n we are 
liable to scrape our bottom on an auld coral reef 
arouxid here, and it isn't Mike Riley that is going 
to get caught like a rat in a trap.' The Dago is 
a reasonable man to talk to, and with that he 
turns the light very low. About elieven o'clock 
I woke up along the hearing Broken-Nosed Pete 
snoring. After throwing me auld shoe at him, I 



rolled over with me face to the scuttle hatch^ to 
get meself another nap before eight bells, when I 
see the Hindoo standing there at the bottom of 
the ladder. I rubbed me eye to make sure it 
wasn't desayving me. Pulling meself together, 
I says to meself, says I, * Whativer he is, he is 
there for no good purpose.' Begob, the stran- 
gest thing about the coolie was that he did not 
move a muscle, but stood there like a statue, 
staring straight into me eye. 

" I shouted to the Dago to turn up the light, 
which is within easy reach of him. Says I, 
* Things are not as they should be down here.' 
With me eye still on the Hindoo, Dago Joe turned 
up the light. I declare to me Maker when the 
light was turned up the Hindoo had disappeared. 

" ^ That's damned strange,' says I to Dago Joe. 
^ Be Hivens he was standing there not a minute 
ago,' and when I comes up on deck at eight bells 
I looked under the foc's'le head and there he is, 
fast asleep. So I lights me poipe, and takes a 
look over the sea to leeward of the foresail, to 
see if we are still in sight of land. While I am 
standing there humming a bit av an auld ditty, 
all of a sudden I felt meself in the presence of 


something uncanny^ and turning around quick- 
like, there stood the coolie. Ses I to him, ses I : 

" ' What are you up to, me boy? ' 

" * Oh,' says the coolie, * the wash on the prow 
is disturbing to my peaceful slumbers. I should 
much prefer being crooned to sleep by the wav- 
ing branches of a Himalayan evergreen.' 

" Ses I, ^ Me coolie friend, no more of your pal- 
avering. Back to bed with you, and stay there.' 
I looked at him again, and, shure, Howly St. 
Patrick, he disappears like he did in the f oc's'le." 

" Where is he now Riley? " 

" Begobs, and I don't know, sir." 

I went forward to see the strange visitor who 
seemed to be causing Riley so much misery. 
There, under the forecastle head, the Hindoo lay, 
wrapped in his blankets, sound asleep. 

" Riley," said I, " you drank too much Scotch 
last night ; be careful that you don't get the Jim- 
mies and jump overboard. If you feel yourself 
slipping just tie a gasket around you. We need 
you to work ship on the voyage home." 

These insults were too much for Riley. He 
slunk away to the lookout where Broken-Nosed 


Pete would lend a willing ear to his story of the 
Hindoo and his abuse of me. 

At one o'clock, feeling sure of the reefs, I 
changed the course to N. N. W. 

The next morning the Hindoo was eating his 
breakfast off the forehatch and looking much 
better than he had on the preceding evening. 
He rose and thanked me kindly for the interest 
we had taken in him, saying : 

" I feel the pleasure of liberty after my prison 
term, among those terrible people. As for last 
night, I was quite comfortable. I can easily adapt 
myself to the new environment. But although I 
could not quite understand what the one-eyed 
man meant when he bent over me in the night, 
exclaiming, 'There he is, and the divil a move 
out of him,' I feel nevertheless, that I am in the 
midst of friends, and I shall do my best to enter- 
tain their friendship." 

These quaint expressions were pleasing to me, 
and I continued the conversation. He said that 
he had had no sea experience. That while going 
from Bombay to the Fiji Islands he was battened 
down in the hold with the rest of the coolie labor. 


and only allowed to walk the deck a short time 
in the evenings. He was anxious to work and 
help in any way that he could. The second mate 
put him to work scrubbing paint-work. There is 
always plenty of this kind of work to be done on 
every ship. The Hindoo went to work with a 
will, as if glad to have the opportunity. 

For the next four days the southeast trades 
held fair, until we were well to the northward of 
the Fiji group. I was hoping to get east of the 
180th meridian before crossing the Equator. 
This would give me a better slant before I struck 
the northeast trades. Then in latitude about 30® 
north we would encounter the westerly winds, 
which would be fair for the Pacific coast. 

I was well pleased with the progress we had 
made since we left Suva, and I anticipated mak- 
ing a sailing record from the Fijis to San Fran- 

Events had favored us since our departure. 
The crew were willing and the good ship herself 
seemed to feel that she was homeward bound. 
But our outward peace was somewhat broken by 
the sudden and mysterious illness of the Hindoo, 
who, after the second day out from Suva refused 



to eat, complaining of a headache, and later 
remaining for hours in what appeared to be 
almost a state of coma. 

I was worried by this new disease, and hoped 
that it would not prove to be contagious. As a 
precautionary measure, I removed the Hindoo 
aft to the deceased Captain's cabin. For two 
days it was with a great effort that he was even 
aroused to drink a cup of bouillon. 

Thb Hubbioanb 


At two o'clock in the morning of our flfth day 
from Suva, I was awakened by hearing the booms 
and gaflfs swinging as if in a calm. I thought 
this very strange, as the southeast trades should 
have held until we were well across the Equator. 
Bushing up on deck, I was indeed surprised to 
find the sails hanging in midships, and not a 
breath from any quarter of the compass. 

I ordered the staysails down and the topsails 
clewed up and made fast, also the flying-jib and 
outer jib. ( These lighter sails in a calm usually 
flop to pieces, especially where there is a rolling 
swell. ) Away to the eastward I noticed a heavy 
bank of clouds, but considered this of minor 
importance, as we were nearing the Equator. It 
usually means heavy rain, but seldom wind. 

Yet this morning there was something out of 
the ordinary, because of the long swell coming 
from the northeast, and the sickly and suffocat- 



ing atmosphere. The unusual stillness was 
intensified by the murmuring and talking of the 
crew. The men who were making fast the head- 
sails on the flying jibboom could be heard plainly 
from the poop deck, growling and swearing as 
they passed the gaskets around the sails. Such 
was the funereal quietness of the morning that 
even the stars were hidden in halos of a yellow- 
ish color. 

Giving instructions to haul in the log line, I 
went below to look at the barometer. I was sur- 
prised to find it falling. I next consulted a Paci- 
fic directory, and found that these unusual con- 
ditions preceded a hurricane. This information 
upset me greatly. I had never experienced a 
hurricane, but well knew that their force/ and 
destructive power was very great. 

Before going on deck again, I looked in on the 
Hindoo in the Captain's room. As usual, he 
was in a stupor, and looked as if he had not moved 
since being fed the preceding evening. I did 
notice from the heaving of the skeleton-like 
breast, that the breathing was regular, and not 
intermittent as it had been on the preceding even- 


On deck, I had all the reef -earrings brought up 
from the lazarette, and got everything in readi- 
ness for any emergency. 

I was well to the westward of the Gilbert 
group, but still to the eastward of the 180th 
Meridian. Should the hurricane come out of the 
east, I could heave to and ride it oiit without any 
danger of fetching up on one of the GUbert 

In the cabin the barometer was falling so fast 
that it now showed hurricane weather. I knew 
that it was only a question of a few hours before 
we should feel its fury. My experience was lim- 
ited in the laws of storms. If we were in the 
storm center it would be necessary to put her 
into the port tack. By doing this I should be 
forced south, and back onto the northern isles 
of the Fiji group, while on a starboard tack I 
should be driven onto a lee shore of the Gilbert 
Islands. Either course meant destruction. 

With daylight and hot coffee this gloomy sit- 
uation assumed a more cheerful aspect. While 
the old sailor has the light of day to guide him 
over storm-tossed decks, he becomes more toler- 
ant of ship and crew. 


At half -past five the white caps could be seen 
coming from the northeast, and before we got 
the spanker down the gale struck us, about six 
I)oints on the starboard bow. The old ship 
reeled to leeward, with the lee rail under water. 
The decks were almost perpendicular. It seemed 
that no power on earth could right her to an 
even keel again. There were two men at the 
wheel, trying to keep her oflf before the gale, 
but it was of no avail, for she refused to answer 
her helm, and lay throbbing as if undecided 
whether to seek a watery grave, or to continue 
her fight for victory. 

Swanson, by a heroic effort, cut the fore and 
main sheet, and then let go by the run. The 
tense situation was relieved as the booms flew 
seaward over the lee rail. We then kept her off 
before the gale with the wind on the starboard 
quarter, immediately setting to work to reef the 
fore and main sail. 

By nine o'clock, three hours and a half later, 
it was no longer a gale, but a hurricane. With 
three reefs in the foresail and a goose-wing 
spanker, we ran before it. It was too late to 
heave to. With such a tremendous sea running 


it would mean destruction to ship and crew to 
try the latter move. As it was, the ship was 
awash fore and aft from seas breaking over her. 
Should the hurricane hold out for ten or twelve 
hours more with our present rate of speed we 
should be dashed to pieces against one of the 
Gilbert group. 

At four bells the velocity of the hurricane was 
so great that one was in danger of being blown 
off the schooner. We rigged life-lines on the fore 
and main decks, also on the poop deck, and by 
their help the crew managed to keep from being 
washed or blown overboard. The sea looked like 
an immense waterfall, one enormous roaring 
mass of foam. Occasionally from out of this ter- 
rible cataract a Himalayan sea would gain in 
momentum and dash itself against our starboard 
quarter, submerging the vessel. At such times 
all that would be identifiable of the " Wampa " 
would be her rocking spiral masts. 

Like a struggling giant she would raise her 
noble head and shake herself clear of this octopus, 
shivering, but never spent. 

About noon the hurricane jumped suddenly 
from the northeast to east southeast, with- 


out losing any of its velocity. In order to keep 
running before it, and keep the wind on our star- 
board quarter we hauled more to the northward 
and westward, although to do this it was neces- 
sary to drive into a beam sea, which made it all 
the more dangerous. Also the sea was driving 
from the east southeast and this formed a cross 

When these two seas came together, the 
"Wampa^^ would rise and poise on the'm as if 
on a pivot. In this position, and with the gale 
blowing on the starboard quarter, her head would 
be thrown into the beam sea. It looked as if 
we could not survive. There was constant dan- 
ger of our being broken up into small pieces. We 
dropped the peak of the spanker that formed the 
goose-wing sail, put it into gaskets, and ran 
with a three-reefed foresail. 

We then put the oil-bags over the stem in the 
hope of quieting these angry seas. But this was 
useless. While we were fastening the lines that 
held the oil-bags in the water, a crushing comber 
came whistling along and filled our stanch little 
ship again from stem to stern. When she shook 
herself clear of the boiling foam I noticed that 


our oil-bags were gone^ and with them the Cap- 
tain's boat which hung from davits over the 

Old Charlie and Dago Joe were steering. Old 
Charlie had a faraway look in his watery eyes as 
he spoke and said: 

'^ I am af raidy sir^ this will be my last trick at 
this wheel." 

I spoke harshly to this old sailor^ saying^ ^^ To 
Hell with sentiment, this is no place for it. 
Watch your steering and don't feel sorry for 
yourself." Had I known what was so soon to 
happen I should not have so upbraided this poor 
harmless old soul. I have often regretted it. 

Riley, who was taking no chances, was seem- 
ingly not all handicapped by his one eye. 
Always alert and as agile as a tiger, he went 
about the decks as if nothing were out of the 
ordinary, although to hear him talking to him- 
self one would think that he expected to be extin- 
guished by every sea that came. He had about 
twenty feet of manila rope tied about his waist 
with the end held in his hand. When a sea 
would hit us Eiley would see it coming, and 
would pass the rope end around a belaying-pin 


or anything that he thought would hold his 

It was while she cleared herself from the sea 
that carried away the Captain's boat that I found 
Riley twisted around the spanker sheet like an 
eel. It took him some time to extricate himself, 
always watching the progress of the stem sea, 
and not seeming to notice his number ten bro* 
gans, which had woven themselves into the 
spanker-sheet falls. The hurricane was raising 
havoc with Riley's mustache. Having blown 
all over his face, it looked as if the only way to 
quiet it would be to put it into a plaster of Paris 
cast. He finally pulled himself clear of the 
sheet, exclaiming: 
" Be Hivins, and wasn't that a close call — '' 
Just then Swanson came running aft and 
reported that the martingale guy had carried 
away on the flying-jibboom. It was then that 
my heart sank within me. I knew what to 
expect. Dismantled, — then to perish at sea ! 

The Master Betijbns 

The thought of our dead captain came to me, 
of what his will would have been in this crisis 
of life and death, and I paused to wonder why he 
had not rested until he was assured that I would 
not carry his precious treasures back with me. 
Bid he expect this situation, and doubt my abil- 
ity to cope with it? Action followed thought, 
and I ordered the second mate and the crew for- 
ward to see what could be done with the martin- 
gale guy. 

Still the humor of the moment appealed to me. 
As Riley left the poop he shouted, " Be the Holy 
St. Patrick, it has blown the buttons off me oil- 
skin coat.'' There was no question about its 
blowing, but it was also possible that his snake- 
like position on the spanker-sheet had something 
to do with the lost buttons. 

It was now past noon. None of the crew cared 
to eat, preferring the wave-swept deck to any- 



thing the cook had to offer. The murderer who 
pays for his crime on the gallows and enjoys his 
ham and eggs on the morn of execution may be 
happy indeed, but this does not apply to the 
sailor. When there is a life and death battle 
on with the elements, he is there to grab the one 
last chance if there be one. If not, he prefers 
a watery grave to claim him with his stomach 

The seas kept coming larger, and every time 
one would break and spend itself on the decks 
I thought it would be the last, and that she 
could not arise. But she shook herself clear as 
she climbed the waves; then again the sea, and 
again the dread. 

I could not leave the poop nor the two men 
at the wheel. A wrong turn at this howling, 
raging time, would mean quick despatch to the 
land of no awakening. Sometimes even the 
helmsmen grew afraid, but a word of encourage- 
ment sufficed to quiet them. 

While I was standing to windward of the men 
at the wheel, watching her every move as she 
was pitched hither and thither on this crazy 
spiral sea, she shipped a green sea that shook 


her from stem to stern. It was with great diffi- 
culty that she raised her black hull to the raging 
storm again. I shouted to the men at the wheel. 
It was too late. She had broached to with the 
stem sea on the beam^. and the beam sea right 

Then the beam sea submerged her, and by it I 
was carried across the poop deck, and found 
myself held under the wheel-box, with both legs 
pinned in a vise-like grip by the tiller, which 
extended forward of the rudder-head. Although 
dazed and strangled by the terrible impact of the 
water, I managed to twist the upper part of my 
body towards the wheel and to murmur, "For 
God's sake keep her oflf.^' 

My weakened voice was lost in the tempest. 
There were no ears to hear my pleadings. The 
men at the wheel were gone. Gone, indeed, to a 
watery grave, and perhaps the others also. 
With me it would not take long. Just another 
raking like the last one, and then the finish. 
Again the cook's words echoed louder than the 
raging storm, " Do we finish here? ^^ 

As I lay there pinned to the deck, too helpless 


to even call aloud^ and as it seemed waiting, 
waiting, for the executioner to spring the deadly 
trap, I was conscious that the door of the com- 
panion-way had closed with a bang so terrific 
that it sounded above the storm. I twisted my 
head and shoulders around to see if I dared to 
hope. There before me stood the Hindoo stow- 
away. He did not notice me lying there pinned 
under the wheel-box, nor could I manage to 
attract his attention. 

With opal eyes glowing green and fiery red, 
he sprang to the wheel, and with magnificent 
strength pulled on the spokes till they screeched 
louder than the storm as they were dislodged 
from their oxidized fittings. Harder and harder 
he pulled on the wheel. He didn't even notice 
the seas breaking over him. The mysterious 
thing about him was that he seemed to know what 
he was doing. He was keeping her off before it. 

In doing this he removed the tiller from my 
legs. At last I was free. As I struggled and 
crawled to the weather-rail for support, the 
Hindoo shouted in clear and ringing tones, in 
true seamanlike fashion, looking neither to the 


right nor left^ but straight ahead^ as if staring 
into a land-locked harbor. He repeated his order 
for the second time in a high tenor voice : 

" Get an axe out of the donkey-room and cut 
away the lee martingale guy. Your flying-jib- 
boom is gone overboard and is still held by the 
lee guy. It is plowing a hole in the port bow." 

I knew but one law. The law of self-preserva- 
tion. My arms were locked tight around the 
stanchion that supported the weather-rail. That 
quick command of the Hindoo brought me sharply 
to the realization that I was not yet given that 
quick despatch to the land of nowhere, but was 
still in the flesh, and very much alive. My first 
rational thought was, "What in Hell is the 
Hindoo doing at the wheel?" My pride as a 
sailor resented the aflfront put upon my ability 
as a sailor by a stowaway who was daring to 
assume the command of my ship, and daring to 
issue orders to me. 

Letting go my hold on the stanchion, I cau- 
tiously made for the Hindoo helmsman. While 
in the act, she shipped another drencher. I was 
carried oflf my feet and washed away to the lee 
scuppers. But I managed, by some interposition 


of Divine Providence, to fasten my arms around 
the mooring-bitt, thus saving myself from an 
angry and cruel sea, which seemed to delight in 
playing with me as a cat does with a mouse, only 
to swallow me up in its fathomless depths. 
•Once again she wrenched herself free of the 
mad swirl and her stem went down until we 
were in a valley between mountains of water. 
I realized as I looked up at the bows which 
seemed to be towering above me, that the flying- 
jibboom, like a clipped wing, was missing. Like 
a flash I wondered how the Hindoo knew that the 
jibboom was gone. 

As her stern ascended high into the air, I 
jumped for the wheel and with an exclamation of 
joy I shouted, " God in Heaven, the Captain ! ^' 

There he stood beside the Hindoo. The dead 
Captain. The same heavy mustache covered 
the lower lip. The same fiery eyes that knew no 
defeat. He was looking straight ahead with 
muscle-set jaws. He appeared as if in the flesh 
and ready as of yore to battle with the elements. 

Then, like a flash, he vanished, and the Hindoo 
stood alone, pulling and tugging on the wheel 
with his supple arms. 


He gpoke^ and his usually high-pitched tenor 
voice rang out piercingly clear. "Cut away 
your jibboom^ you have no time to lose. Haye 
no fear.^* 

I knew that her former Captain was in com- 
mand of the shipy and that his masterly seaman- 
ship wrought through the Hindoo. I crept for- 
ward with new courage to do his bidding. 

Huddled together beneath the forecastle-head 
stood what remained of the crew, who seemed not 
to know that two of their number were gone. 
The second mate was praying, and helpless from 
fear to be of any use in handling the schooner. 
Riley had his three-inch sailor's rope fast to the 
windlass with one extra turn around his body. 
He was taking no chances. Swanson was the 
only one without fear. When I called for a 
volunteer to cut away the flying jibboom he made 
for the axe and rushed onto the sea-swept fore- 
castle-head. As the schooner arose high in the 
air, he swung over the lee bow and with one 
stroke of the axe cut away the hemp lanyard that 
was holding the massive spar from its freedom. 

For five hours more we battled with the hurri- 
cane. The foretopmast went overboard, and all 


our boats were smashed into firewood. The lee 
bulwarks, between the mizzen and mainmast^ 
were washed away, and still the Hindoo held the 
wheel and issued his orders. Many times I 
offered to take the wheel, and ordered him to go 
below. He would wave me away with his hand, 
saying : 

" Not yet, — soon, soon." 

About six o'clock, twelve hours and a half 
after the hurricane struck us, the wind let up 
some. We then went to work with a will to 
patch up what was left of the "Wampa," and 
for the first time since half -past five o'clock that 
morning, we realized how hungry we were. It 
was while giving orders to the cook that I looked 
towards the wheel and saw that the Hindoo was 

Calling Swanson to take the wheel as I ran, 
I rushed to find him. There by the wheel he 
lay, where he had fallen, limp as a rag, — uncon- 
scious. Gathering him easily into my arms, I 
carried him to the Captain's room, laying him in 
the bunk as carefully as if he were a babe new- 
born. For two hours we worked over him, the 
crew unchidden tiptoeing back and forth in 


clumsy ministrations, the Socialist cook refusing 
to leave him. As he finally came back to earth 
from those astral regions he so easily frequented, 
a sigh of relief, almost hysterical, went up from 
the whole ship. Surely there had been enough 
of tragedy ! 

Along about eight o'clock the wind fell very 
light. As there was still a heavy swell running, 
it would be dangerous to put sail on her for she 
would shake it into threads. 

While walking up and down the poop deck I 
jcould hear Riley and the cook working over the 
stowaway. My thoughts turned to old Charlie 
and to Dago Joe, who were sleeping their 
last sleep out there at sea. Had it not been 
for Him, for Him who had loved his ship, we 
would all have shared the same merciless fate. 
What might have happened had I followed my 
^rst impulse to cast the Hindoo overboard? 

The cook came running up the companion-way 
very much excited, and said " Come down quick, 
the Hindoo is showing signs of life." In the 
Captain^s room, under the sickly and only lamp, 
the frail body was moving from side to side, 
sometimes making a feeble effort to sit up, often 


swinging his arms as if to ward off some impend- 
ing danger. Then he asked for a drink of water 
and gradually became rational. 

When I told him what a wonderful service he 
had performed, he smiled and said, " Surely you 
can't mean me." I insisted, telling him in detail 
how, when two men had been washed overboard, 
he had seized the wheel and saved the ship. 
" You must be mistaken," he protested, " I have 
not been on deck, and I cannot steer, I know 
nothing whatever about a ship as a sailor. But 
I have just awakened from a dream that was 
worse than your Christian Hell." 

The Homb Port 

"The wind is from the south-southeast sir," 
sang out Swanson from the wheel. Riley gave 


voice to my impulse when he said, " Thank God, 
it is the southeast trades again, sir/^ 

The days that followed brought us fine weather 
and a gentle breeze. We were fortunate enough 
to escape the doldrums. The southeast trades 
carried us into the northeast trade winds. In 
latitude 30° north we struck the westerly winds 
that blow fair for the Pacific coast of the U. S. A. 
Fifty-six days from Suva we rounded Lime Point, 
sailed up Frisco Bay, and dropped the hook off 
Goat. Island. 

The owner welcomed me at his office, and was 
pleased indeed to know that his favorite schooner 
was once again in her home port. 

Later, when we were towed alongside the 
wharf, the good ship " Wampa ^' was the object 
of much speculation among the old hard-shelled 



water-front men, not so much from her battered 
condition, althougli she was minus port bulwarks, 
f oretopmast and flying jibboom, as from some air 
of mystery which in a conscious way seemed to 
emanate from the very hull of her. Veterans of 
the deep who were in port loading new cargoes, 
would come and go, walking in silence like pall- 

Possibly this was due to the appearance of the 
Hindoo stowaway, or it may have been that the 
occult voyage of the " Wampa ^^ had been aired 
in Rooney's Steam Beer Joint which was at the 
end of the wharf. Yet with all this hushed 
solemnity, I do believe that it was I who most 
sincerely mourned our Captain and the two hon- 
est, simple sailormen whose lives had been so 
unprotestingly given to their duty. Many a voy- 
age have I had since then, but at no time have 
I ever felt at once so near to Humanity, and to 
the Infinite. The Hindoo, who had picked up 
and grown fat on the cook's pea-soup and salt- 
horse, went to a home which I found for him with 
a hotel man, who advanced the entry-fee, and put 
him to work as a porter. He saved his money 
and, after familiarizing himself with the customs 


and conventions of the Western people, he moved 
north to the State of Oregon, where he went into 
the real estate business, acquiring, up to eight 
years ago, a goodly sum of money. 

The Socialist cook exchanged his greasy dun- 
garees for a pair of hand-me-down creaseless 
serge pants. With these and a much-worn 
broadcloth coat that had long withstood gales 
from the critics of equal distribution, he entered 
once more the harness of Socialism. With him 
he took Toby, the black cat, to a life ashore. I 
believe, though, that his voyage on the " Wampa " 
had changed his materialistic ideas. 

Riley swore that he had made his last trip on 
windjammers, but that should necessity compel 
him to take again to the sea, he would sail in a 
gentleman's yacht. There he would be sure of 
frequent home ports, each with its black-eyed 
Susan reigning supreme, feut conditions were 
not as Riley had planned. The steam beer was 
as plentiful as ever, but the dinero was running 
low, and he had to take the first thing that 
ofifered that would reef and steer. Since then I 
have met him many times. 

Swanson, the most daring and best sailor of the 


"Wampa's" crew, went to a navigation school 
in San Francisco. With his second mate's 
papers he put ofif on a long Southern voyage, and 
after a few years he became captain. 

For my services the owner of the " Wampa " 
promised me the command of a vessel that was 
overdue from South America, and which was 
expected any day. After two weeks had passed 
without niews from the South American wan- 
derer, I headed North. The Yukon was calling 
for men of endurance and men of red blood to 
come and uncover her hidden treasures. 


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